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CoRRB Lectures & Seminars

Topic:1

"Importance of nutrition among School Children through school Gardening"
By
(Dr. Ray Yu Yang)
(Nutritionist, AVRDC Taiwan)
on
Thursday 3 April 201at 9.30 am
Venue: Conference Hall Migmar Hotel


Chair
Namgay Wangchuk
DIRECTOR GENERAL
Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB)

________________________________________

Importance of nutrition among School Children through school Gardening

Children educated early in life about the benefits of healthy eating habits are not only nutritionally healthy but are also better performers in academics. Children who are exposed to gardening and grow their own vegetables are more likely to eat more vegetables when they grow up as adults (Bell & Dement, 2008; Koch et al., 2006).
Case studies of Taiwan school gardening and nutrition programme in elementary schools, in efforts to supplement nutrition.
________________________________________

Topic: 2

"Importance of WASH (School Health Programme) in enhancing nutritiontional outcome of school"
by
(Professor Dr. Gueladio Cisse)
(Research Group Leader at Swiss TPH)
on
Thursday 3 April 201at11.00 am
Venue: Conference Hall Migmar Hotel


Chair
Namgay Wangchuk
DIRECTOR GENERAL
Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB)

________________________________________

Importance of WASH in enhancing nutritional outcome from the school garden

It is estimated that 88% of diarrheal diseases are caused by unsafe water supply, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene (UNICEF 2009). Parasitic diseases pose major obstacles to children healthy growth and socio-economic development in developing countries. They are particularly very common in children below the age of 15. There is a strong linkage between malnutrition and infection by disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites (Brown 2003).The nutrition benefits of a school vegetable garden program can be jeopardized if the school and household environment is not safe or if children common major parasitic diseases are not controlled.
Presentation will highlight intended case studies about the synergies of WASH interventions (School Health Programme) with agriculture production and consumption among school children.

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CoRRB intends to organize such lectures and seminars more frequently in order to share scientific knowledge and provoke discussions among the audience that may include researchers, extension workers, policy makers, lecturers and others in the field of renewable natural resources.
Note: All interested participants are requested to contact B.B Rai at 17607471 or 322936/323514 or email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for confirmation and logistic arrangement on or before2 April 2014

 

Improving Nutritional status of school children

 Lyopnpo Yeshey Dorji, Minister for Agriculture and Forests interacted with the ToT participants of Vegetable Go To School (VeGoTs) Project conducted at RNR RDC Dharla Chukha on 29th March 2014. The ToT workshop and project orientation for 19 school teachers from western and southern Dzongkhags who were identified as the pilot schools for VeGoTs programme implemented by School Agriculture Programme (SAP). The 3 year project is funded by Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC) through SDC funding. The project is multidisciplinary in nature, collaborated with Department of School Education, Royal Institute of Health Science, Department of Agriculture and led by CoRRB MoAF.Darla-ToT

During the interaction with the participants, Lyonpo stressed the importance of agriculture education among the school youths for food and nutrition security through farming activities in schools. Beside vegetable gardening, schools should also think of livestock activities, especially poultry raring for eggs production. Improving the nutritional status of school children is top priority of government and every effort will be made from the Agriculture and Forest Ministry (MoAF) to combat the hidden hunger among school children. Schools are encouraged to start poultry raring to produce sufficient quantities of eggs that should be fed to students. Efforts should be made to provide 3 eggs to each student per week that is fed at every alternate days, so as to improve the nutritional health of school going children. Lyonpo also suggested that School Agriculture programme should be renamed as School Agriculture and Nutrition Programme (SANAP), to focus on nutrition through farming. Students in non feeding schools should involve parents to rare at least 3 chickens to provide eggs to their children. MoAF commits to provide pullets at free of cost starting from the poverty sicken Dzongkhags namely, Samtse, Pemagatsel Zhemgang and Lhuentse. Lyonpo also informed that the schools should make use of the technical expertise gewog RNR staff for School Agriculture activities in their respective gewogs.

 


Opinion survey on land ceiling for commercial farming

Dear Sir/Madam/Colleagues
Royal Government of Bhutan has been leasing out Government Reserved Forest (GRF) for commercial farming....Readmore

 

 

Training  for 13th Batch focal agriculture teachers at CNR

 

13th batchA batch of 19 school teachers from 19 different schools have completed a week long integrated agriculture farming training course at College of Natural Resources (CNR), Lobeysa, from 6 January 2014. Among the 19 school teachers 13 of them are teachers teaching agriculture optional subjects for class IX and X that started in the 2013 academic year in 20 piloted schools, while the other 6 teachers are focal agriculture teachers for implementing School Agriculture Programme (SAP) activities in schools. The participants learned concepts of integrated farming with vegetable production, mushroom, livestock production like chicken, piggery and dairy farming. Beside the technical classes on farming, the participants were also briefed on the SAP plans and policy for the 11th FYP and Agriculture and Food Security (AgFS) curriculum related issues on agriculture optional subject.

 

The technical officials from CNR, DSE, DCRD, DoA and CoRRB attended as resource persons on specific inputs. CNR awarded the participants with a certificate of participation on integrated farming concept. Awarding the certificates Dasho Namgay Wangchuk, Director General, CoRRB highlighted them as the Ambassador of Agriculture & Forests Ministry in their respective schools. He also congratulated them for having completed the intensive training course and ready to take up additional responsibility of agriculture activities and teaching the students on agriculture, back in their respective schools.

 

Some of the participants shared their views that the SAP activities in feeding schools has provided them with additional fresh vegetables supplementing their nutrition for healthy diets while others feel it would prepare feeding schools to think sustainability after withdrawal of the World Food Programme by 2018. The experience of one year old agriculture optional subject in piloted schools proves lots of enthusiasm among the students who have taken the optional subject in class IX and continue in class X in the next academic session.

 

The training was funded by WFP and CoRRB MoAF.

 

- Submitted by B.B Rai, Coordinator, SAP, CoRRB


Preparation of Annual Work Plan for 2014-15

 Notice for preparation of Annual Work Plan 2014-15. For detail click here


Inviting Tender

CoRRB, MoAF would like to call quotations from the hotels in and around Thimphu city. For more details follow the link of: Notice Inviting Tender


New Director General for CoRRB Secretariat

DGHM
Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) is pleased to welcome Dasho Namgay Wangchuk as new Director General. RNR family 
 would like to welcome Dasho Namgay Wangchuk back to the Ministry after serving as Dzongdag in Trashigang and Paro and Director General in the Department of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs. His tendrel ceremony on 6th December 2013 was graced by Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo, Hon’ble Nangsi Lyonpo, Hon’ble Secretary, MoHCA and other dignitaries, well wishers, family members.

Dr. Tashi Samdup, former Director of CoRRB after serving for more than 5years in CoRRB has been transferred to Department of Livestock (DoL). He joined his new place of posting on 7th November, 2013.

CoRRB family would like to wish him all the success in his new responsibilities as Director, Department of Livestock.

Submitted by CoRRB




Chubu University, Japan,  collaborating  on Climate SMART Village

Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Research and Education for sustainable development between Chubu University, Matsumoto-cho, Kasugai-shi, Aichi, Japan and Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) in August 2012, the joint technical team from MoAF and Chubu University, developed the research project,” Collaborative Research on Climate SMART Village” in November 2012. The project is for a period of 5 years (2013-2017) and is executed by Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF). The goal of the project is to facilitate and sustain international cooperation on research and education in biodiversity, ecosystem, natural resources management, integrated watershed management, social and institutional design, IT enabled participatory planning and geospatial cyber-infrastructure.

Research is carried out at two identified sites (1) Punatsang Chu – Lakhu, Chubu geog, Punakha, (2 ) Mangdi Chu basin, Trongsa. Recently, from 3-12 September 2013 , the Japanese team of 8 Professors/Deans from Chubu University visited the research sites in Bhutan and initiated some research collaborative activities. The main works included:

• Organized the stakeholder meetings ( MoE, CNR, DoFPS) and field visits to research sites
• Participated in the CoRRB Lecture and Seminar where Prof. Ishi Hiroyuki.Visiting Professor, Chubu University, gave a lecture entitled “ What is true development?” based on Japanese experiences on 
development and environment at the Conference Hall of DoA, Thimphu.
 Seminar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
• Testing of Unmanned Aerial Vehicleicle (UAV) and mapping of research site, Lakhu village, Chubu Geog, Punakha.

UAV-area

 Picture-UAV

• Collected water samples of drinking water including Drubchu for quality analysis along the Paro-Thimphu Wangdue –Trongsa Highway and downstream along Mangdi Chu until Samchholing and in Punakha along Mochu upstream until Gasa.

The 5-year collaboration project aims to contribute to the development and capacity building in the areas of geo-spatial and cyber-infrastructure establishment for climate SMART village, water induced hazards and its management, collection and analysis of medicinal plants, socio-economic and anthropological studies, forest resource mapping and its application in forest management.

By Dr. Lungten Norbu (Specialist)


Stakeholders agree on GCCA climate change adaptation activities

9-12 September, Mongar: Around thirty-eight participants from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests along with the RNR-sector heads and planning officers of Mongar, Lhuentse, Pemagatshel and

 Zhemgang identified various climate change adaptation activities to be implemented under the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) project. This was done during a participatory planning workshop held at Wangchuk Hotel in Mongar.

Participants included officials from the Department of Agriculture (DoA), Department of Livestock (DoL), Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS), Department of Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives (DAMC), Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CORRB), National Biodiversity Centre (NBC), Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority Bhutan (BAFRA), Planning and Policy Division (PPD) and Information and Communication Services (ICS)

Activities to support climate change impacts include the promotion of green livestock farming practices, increased terraced areas for horticulture, field crops and organic agriculture production, installation of new irrigation systems, watershed management plans, national forest inventory and carbon stock assessment, plantation in barren and degraded forest areas, increased and diversified ex-situ conservation of biodiversity, development of marketing infrastructure policy/ strategic, strengthening of climate change impact/adaptation regulatory and quarantine system and development of Information Education Communication (IEC) materials.

mongar21These activities will be implemented in the four selected beneficiary Dzongkhags of Mongar, Lhuentse, Pemagatshel and Zhemgang falling under the Kurichhu basin during the project period 2013-2017. They were selected based on the level of poverty, status of community resilience and need for climate change adaptation initiatives across all the major watersheds of Bhutan.

The workshop also agreed on the budget allocation by central agencies and by dzongkhags through a series of consultative group exercises, capacity building plan and the responsibilities for the Project Coordination Unit (PCU), stakeholders and Dzongkhags.

According to the PCU based at CoRRB, climate change mainstreaming is one of the key policy directives for the 11th FYP. As the RNR-sector is the custodian of the country’s natural resources, there is a need for increased climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives both at local and national levels.

It is expected that the prioritised activities will help to accomplish the GGCA project objectives of enhancing the resilience of Bhutan’s rural households to the effects of climate change. The project will also help the people understand about the possible negative impacts of climate change and how to deal with it in the future.

In the meantime, the PCU is in the process of coming up with a RNR-climate change information system to ensure reliable data collection, processing and documentation that will strengthen the capacities and preparedness of all stakeholders to reduce the vulnerability against the negative impacts of climate change in the country.
  

Seminar on “What is true development? From the experience of JAPAN”
 

japan professor9 September 2013, Thimphu: CoRRB organised a seminar on “What is true development? From the experience of JAPAN” on 5 September, 2013 at the DoA Conference Hall. Leading a team of ten from Chubu University, Professor Ishi Hiroyuki, a Visiting Professor of the University gave a talk on “What is True Development? ‘From the Experience of Japan.’”

Prof. Hiroyuki talked about the negative impacts of environmental pollution such as disease outbreaks in humans, crops and even leading to extinction of birds. He said that this impact is mainly due to poor policy and bad technology.

japan 2

In his closing remarks, the Directior of CoRRB who was Chairing the Presentation, Dr. Tashi Samdup said that the Presentation reminded and shared experiences from Japan’s past history, especially with relation to environmental issues. DR. Tashi added ‘ We need to take early action. The crux of the issue relates to climate change as a result of pollution and degradation.” Therefore the Director said that Bhutan needed a good policy implemented and this should be backed up with good technologies.

The visit of the Professor of Chubu university as a part of international cooperation is one step forward to promote climate SMART technologies.

 

  
CoRRB - M&E Report
 
Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB)-Secretariat has published a review of “Resources and Technology Inventory” of RNR Research System in Bhutan. The review is an output of a participatory M&E of Regional and Central programmes engaged in Research and Development. 

Amongst others, the review report contains inventory on RNR technologies, Human resource in RDCs & Central Agencies, Physical structure including laboratories, equipment, vehicles2, and Budget Allocation by Departments/Agencies.

Hard copy of the report has been circulated to all the concerned offices but for wider accessibility and reference we are making the digital copy of the report available online. To view and download the report please visit PUBLICATIONS

While CoRRB is planning to conduct similar exercise very soon, we would like all RDCs and relevant MoAF agencies to refer the inventory tables for accuracy and inform us of the updates. In order to help the users to update the data, we are also uploading the data entry tables under PUBLICATIONS as: (i) DataTable1 Research Published & Ongoing, (ii) DataTable2 Available Technologies, (iii) DataTable3 staff strength, (iv) DataTable4 Equipment- Vehicle- Budget, and (v)  DataTable5 Constraints.

Individual RDCs and relevant MoAF agencies are requested to look at the data in these tables, correct, update [for technology available & published per June 2013 and ongoing in the current fiscal year – 2013-14] and send the updated tables as attachments  at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The updated tables will be reloaded in MoAF and CoRRB websites for further use and publication, and for subsequent information to the originators. We will also use the updated data in these tables for onward review exercises, as well as present it to the Council Board for policy decisions. Therefore please make concerted efforts to update and e-dispatch the tables as requested.

For more information and queries please contact Toyanath Acharya, Head, Technology Screening & Monitoring Division, CoRRB at 322936 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

SAP Evaluation Form 2013

 Click here to download: SAP Evaluation Form 2013


Announcement of School Agriculture literary competition 2013

School Agriculture Programme (SAP), jointly implemented by Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) and Department of School Education (DSE), Ministry of Education (MoE) invites annual literary competition for 2013 as follows;


• Category (Drawing) for Lower primary level (PP-III):- Vegetables and fruits in my diet.
• Category (Drawing) for Upper primary level (IV-VI):- Drawing - My daily diet
• Category (Essay) for Lower Secondary level (VII-VIII):- Agriculture is the backbone of the nation.
• Category (Essay) for Middle Secondary level (IX-X):- Future of School Agriculture Program in schools.
• Category (Essay) for Higher Secondary level (XI-XII):- Role of youth in agriculture development.
• Category (Essay) for FATs:- Sustainable Food System for food security and nutrition. (WFD theme, 2013)

Criteria:

1. The competition is open only for SAP member schools. Each school shall send only three best entries for national level competition.
2. Drawings: Drawn by pencil in A4 plain paper and coloring is optional. Name and class should be written at the back of entries.
3. The Essays should not be more than 400 words. It should be hand written in plain A4 size paper.
4. All the entries should reach in CoRRB MoAF on or before 30th August 2013 either by fax at (322504), post it to Director CoRRB or email attachment to Ms. Sangay Lham at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Topics for SAP Literary & Poster Competition 2013

The Literary and Poster Competition is one of the priority activities among the School Agriculture Program (SAP) member schools every year. Therefore the Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) would like to encourage all to propose suitable topics for different levels of schools:

 

1. Primary
2. LSS
3. MSS
4. HSS
5. Teachers (FATs) 

Selected topics will be rewarded with cash incentives during World Food Day on 16 October 2013. Last date for submission is 15 June 2013. The topics can be directly addressed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

By B.B Rai, CoRRB

Gardening a new trend from Schools to Monastic schools

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In an effort to enhance vegetable production and to promote nutrition and encourage food security, CoRRB under MoAF has initiated linkage with Phajoding Dratshang (Monastic school) to start such initiative. Given the facts that many monastic schools face shortage of vegetables and nutritional deficiency, gardening vegetables remains the first option.
Phajoding Dratshang is located at the hilltop of Thimphu city about three hours uphill walk from the last road head point. The Dratshang has 35 monks ranging from 12-40 years old and feeding them nutritiously has become a challenge to the management of Dratshang with the little stipend from Dratshang Lhentshog.
Even the small quantities of vegetables bought from the Thimphu market gets deteriorated and loose its palatability quality by the time it reaches to their kitchen due to long transportation distance in the backpack. Thus the monks get very little chance to eat green and leafy vegetables, rather depend on potatoes and radish at most of their meals.

Therefore from this year the Principal of Dratshang has approached to CoRRB MoAF to include them in the School Agriculture Programme for vegetable production programme. According to the Principal, he heard prospectus through Sanam Rigpa programme in BBS TV. Accordingly, having seen the real need of growing fresh vegetables CoRRB has supported the Dratshang with agriculture tools and vegetable seeds during the onset vegetable growing season 2013.

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To backup the Dratshang with the technical knowhow, a team of experts and staff of CoRRB led by the Dr. Tashi Samdup, Director, Dr. Tashi Samdup, staffs from the Council of RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) visited Phajoding Dratshang on 3th May 2013. The purpose of the visit was to provide hands-on training of land preparation, bed making, line sowing of seeds and transplantation techniques.

A day long training and demonstration was conducted by Mr. B.B Rai backed by other agriculture and livestock specialist. The training was conducted both on theory part and practical aspects to provide the trainees a firsthand experience of making vegetable gardening beds. Monks has take part with lots of inertest. The training module was also to inform and teach monks on vegetable production and also educate them on the importance of the health benefits of consuming vegetables. 

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With fresh vegetables grown at the Shedra starting this season, the Principal added that apart from saving the trouble for the monks of transporting vegetables all the way from Thimphu town to Phajodhing, availability (and consumption) of fresh vegetables would enhance the health and well-being of the monks. He is very positive about the vegetable production programme. His expectation is to produce at least 50% of vegetable requirement from their own garden during the season, although winter would be impossible.


Five types of vegetables namely radish, carrot, beans, spinach and beans were identified as suitable vegetables to the agro-climatic conditions of Phajoding.
The Director, CoRRB MoAF assured the monks that the Council would provide all the necessary support to make the vegetable production venture at Phajodhing a success. If the programme proves to be successful, CoRRB commits to provide them with fencing materials in the years to come, so as to protect the crops from stray yaks and horses used for tourist transportation.


Reported by: Kencho Wangdi & B.B Rai, CoRRB MoAF

 

Students learn paddy planting on-site near the Tashichhodzong

On 27 May 2013, about 150 students and escort teachers from schools in Thimphu Thromdey volunteered to take part in paddy transplantation behind the Tashichhodzong. The annual paddy transplantation programme undertaken by the Department of Agriculture (DoA) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) near the Tashichhodzong for the greenery programme has provided students and researchers a platform to practise and learn. The cheerful and excited students gathered in the field to get technical briefings on transplantation by the RNR staff and coordinators before they plunged into the swampy wetland.

The participation of students from selected schools was organised as part of ongoing School Agriculture Programme (SAP) as an Outdoor Education Programme, jointly implemented by the Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) MoAF and Department of School Education (DSE) Ministry of Education (MoE) in collaboration with DoA. Such programme also helps in alleviating the labour shortage during the manual rice transplantation while providing firsthand experience to the school children on the real farming world.

2paddy11
The 150 students and escort teachers from schools in Thimphu Thromdey taking part in paddy transplantation behind the Tashichhodzong.


The programme was also timely as the transplantation happened prior to the summer break, so that the students can take home the technical knowledge on transplantation and help their parents and communities. School summer vacation also aims to ease the labour shortage during the peak paddy plantation.

By B.B Rai, CoRRB

 

 

Director General of AVRDC visits Bhutan

 

Dr. dyno 

Dr. Dyno Keatinge, the Director General of Asian Vegetable Research centre (AVRDC) “The World Vegetable Centre” from its headquarters based in Taiwan and Dr. Warwick John Easdown, Regional Director based at Hyderabad India, visited Bhutan from 15th-19th May 2013. The main objective of their visit was to build and develop collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture and Forests on “Vegetable Go to School Project”. The collaboration will focus on the nutrition upliftment of school children through growing and consumption of fresh green vegetables. The project is expected to start from the beginning of 2014 to 3 piloted schools identified in three Dzongkhags of Punakha, Haa and Paro. Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) has been entrusted to lead the project in collaboration with technical departments of Department of Agriculture, Royal institute of health and Science and Department of School Education.

 

The delegates attended a consultative workshop with the key stakeholder and later visited to identified beneficiary schools viz Wolathang Prima PS Punakha, Tshaphel LSS in Haa and Dawakha LSS in Paro. Enroute visits to Bithekha MSS and Wanakha LSS has also provided them the insights of School Agriculture Programme. A MoU is expected to be developed and signed with MoAF in near future for the proposed project. More pictures in action

 

Reported by B.B Rai, CoRRB


Bio-security in small holder systems


CORRB LECTURES & SEMINARS

 

The Council for RNR* Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) in collaboration with National Centre for Animal Health (NCAH), Department of Livestock (DoL) is organizing a seminar on " Bio-security in small holder systems- A cost effective means for raising animal production" on 26 April 2013 by Prof. (Dr.) Ian Robertson, College of Veterinary Medicine, Murdoch University, Australia.

For further information please read this flyer.

Venue: DoL Conference Hall
Time 3-4 pm

All interested are requested to confirm the participation to Kailash Pradhan or Chencho Dukpa, CoRRB at 322936/323514 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Reported by Kailash, CoRRB


Common Property Resource Management in Bhutan


CoRRB is organizing a seminar on “Common Property Resource Management in Bhutan: Challenges and opportunities for high altitude rangelands and livelihoods” on 18 April, 2013 at 10-11am in CoRRB meeting hall. Therefore all interested are requested to attend the seminar and confirm the participation to Kailash Pradhan, CoRRB at 322936/323514 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

CORRB LECTURES & SEMINARS


Thursday 18 April 2013 at 10.00 am 11.00 am
Venue: CoRRB, Meeting hall
Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Thimphu

Karma Tenzing
PhD Candidate

Common Property Resource Management in Bhutan: Challenges and opportunities for high altitude rangelands and livelihoods
Chair
Dr. Tashi Samdup
DIRECTOR

Council for RNR Research of Bhutan


There are reports of degradation of high altitude rangeland in various parts of Bhutan and ownership conflicts due to unclear property rights (Kuensel, 2012; Gyamtsho, 1996). Gyamtsho (1996), Norbu and Dorji (2001) and Ura (2000) observed that unclear property rights and ownership of the rangelands is the main stumbling block to sustainable rangeland management. He was unequivocal in stating that until the ownership issue is settled, the pastoral industry does not look promising (Gyamtsho, 1992, AHD, 1992). Current literature on property rights and natural resource management indicates that uncertainties and ambiguities around property rights can lead to sub-optimal management and utilization of natural resources. Ownership risk induces strategic behavior among group members which can result in overharvesting of natural resources (Bromley, 1991, Ostrom, 1990). Empirical research which examines the complex interrelationships between property rights, trust, cooperation and collective action for high altitude rangeland management and how these variables affect resource sustainability and livelihoods is limited. The proposed research will explore the nature of existing property rights and the role of trust and cooperation in promoting sustainable high altitude rangeland management. Comparative case studies of two geographically/ecologically similar settings from different locations and management regimes (traditional vs. improved management system) will be conducted.


CoRRB intends to organize such lectures and seminars more frequently in order to share scientific knowledge and provoke discussions among the audience that may include researchers, extension workers, policy makers, lecturers and others in the field of renewable natural resources.

Note: All interested participants are requested to contact Kailash Pradhan at 322936/323514 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for confirmation and logistic arrangement on or before 17 April 2013


Reported by Kailash, CoRRB

Second stakeholder meeting for EU-GCCA project held


10 April, Thimphu: The second stakeholders meeting for finalising the RNR-Sector Adaptation Plan of Action (SAPA) and Coordination of the EU-Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) Project was held at the Hotel Rochog Pel. The stakeholders included the specialist and focal persons from the offices such as livestock, agriculture, forests, BAFRA, research, marketing, biodiversity and policy and planning of the Ministry.
The meeting aimed to review the drafted SAPA to the impact of climate change and agree on its screening mechanism and coordination of project implementation.
Addressing the meeting, Dr. Tashi Samdup, the Director of Council for RNR Research of Bhutan informed that SAPA will help the RNR sector move forward in the 11th Five Year Plan.
As per the presentation presented during the meeting, the SAPA will implement RNR adaptation plans that are vibrant for responding to changing and uncertain climatic conditions. It will also create awareness among the communities in understanding the changing futures climatic conditions and engage them effectively in the process of developing adaptation activities.
Discussing on the SAPA, the floor identified some of the activities to be included relating to riverine, freshwater ecosystem and climate change threat/vulnerabilities among others.
The project coordination unit under CoRRB will submit the finalised draft SAPA to the RNR-GNH Committee for approval. The approved SAPA will be further submitted to Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) and EU-delegation in New Delhi.

ggca

- By Tshering Doma, ICS

Green Tea –A successful cash crop from Samcholing Farmers


A team of Officials from Gyeongnam National University of Science and Technology (GNTECH) and Hadong County, South Korea led by Prof. Choi and Mr. Cho You Haeng, Mayor of Hadong was in the Country from 29th to 31st March 2013 to review the progress of Focus Village Rural Development Project (FVRDP). FVRDP mainly support the production of Green Tea in Samcholing, Trongsa.
Green Tea Production , initiated with the support from GNTECH in collaboration with Council for RNR Research of Bhutan, MoAF has been found to be extremely satisfactory and meeting its objective of enhancing farmers’ income. The farmers group formed under the Project has already started earning significant amount of money and it is expected to grow as the new plantations being developed under the project starts producing. This was found during the recent review of the project progress between GNTECH and CoRRB which was chaired by Dr. Tashi Samdup, Director, CoRRB.

korean teamProject Officials from GNTECH and Hadong along with CoRRB reviewing the progress of GreenTea Project.

The project so far has supported establishment of green tea nursery & plantation and construction of green tea outlet centre. It has also supported farmers training and simple processing equipment.
Review between GNTECH and CoRRB officials also expressed the need for further support to diversify project activities and green tea products. Meeting also agreed to develop a MOU with Hadong County to support Agricultural development with emphasis on green tea. Hadong is one of the main green tea producing (30%) regions in South Korea.

director
Dr. Tashi Samdup, Director, CoRRB and Mr. Cho You Haeng, Mayor Hadong County (right) discussing future collaborations.

While in the country, team also made a courtesy call on His Excellency Lyonpo Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and Hon’ble Secretary, Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen and other officials.

Reported by Kailash, CoRRB


Officials trained on GIS and RS


March 5-15, Thimphu: Twenty-three officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) completed a two weeks training on Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). The training was organised jointly by the Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB, MoAF) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal. The resource persons were GIS Specialist Govinda Joshi and RS Analyst Hammad Gilani both from ICIMOD.

DSC04896
Applying GPS techniques in the field. Here, seen at Changlam Square, Thimphu.

GIS, a computer-based system provides four sets of capabilities to handle geo-referenced data such as input, management, manipulation and analysis, and output while RS is the science of acquiring, processing and interpreting images of the earth’s surface from aircraft or satellites. The training was an opportunity for the participants to get a better understanding of these operations in details along with their potential.
Despite the subject being huge, the resource persons put their best effort to facilitate easy understanding with brief introductions of the whole concept. According to the resource persons, GIS is evolving as an enabling technology in gathering information in terms of educational management, environmental management, agricultural development, natural resources management, rural urban development, flood disaster management etc.
The participants learned about some basic GIS operations such as displaying of map layers highlighting certain map characteristics with appropriate colours and symbols. They also learned that RS is done to get an overview of an area and gather information cost-effectively even in inaccessible places. In addition, they learned about the Global Positioning System (GPS), a hand held device that can capture real world data from the field which would help determine the basic position and location. A field study was also carried out on GPS.
The participants also worked on some introductory exercises on aspects and operations of GIS and RS using ArcGIS 10 and ERDAS applications. The other related aspects such as applications of geospatial systems, visual image interpretation, image geometric correction and resample method, image index, classification etc were also highlighted during the training.
The training ended with the group work presentations on land cover and land use change assessment of Paro and Haa dzongkhags, preparation of Thimphu city map, Normalised Difference Vegetative Index (NDVI) of forest and wetland areas in Phobjikha including unsupervised classification of forest, digitalisation of Black-Necked Crane habitat and 3D visualisation of project site.
This was followed by the awarding of certificate by Mr. Basanta Shrestha, the Division Head of the Mountain Environment and Natural Resources Information Systems, ICIMOD. The Director for CoRRB, Dr. Tashi Samdup, congratulated the participants for successfully completing the significant training. He urged them to make the best use of the knowledge and skills gained particularly in carrying out climate change adaptation activities.
According to the participants, the training was an excellent platform to understand about GIS and RS as most of them were quite new to the subject. ‘Having availed of this opportunity, I am now able to understand what GIS and RS are all about, how and where it can be applied,’ said one of the participants.


Reported and photo by Tshering Doma, ICS

New optional subject “Agriculture and Food Security" attracts many students


The optional subject on “Agriculture and food security” launched as joint initiative of the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) in 20 pilot schools attracts good number of students. In total there are 638 students who have registered to take up agriculture subject, with 16 students in Zhemgang HSS and 63 students
in Drujeygang HSS. It is also impressive to note >70% girl students taking up the subject in Dungtse MSS and Gaselo HSS. Many subject teachers (agriculture) expressed their satisfaction from the turn over.

graph

Teachers expressed that the challenge now is to teach the subject effectively to reciprocate the aspiration of the students. Department of Curriculum Research and Development (DCRD), Department of School Education (DSE) and Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) plans to monitor and support the pilot school in managing the new subject. As part of the joint MoU between MoE and MoAF, DCRD and CoRRB in coordination with relevant agencies plan to work on the agriculture curriculum for XI and XII by mid of 2013.
CoRRB and DCRD wishes the 600+ students a new experience in learning agriculture and extend sincere appreciations to 20 teachers for their commitment and hard work in launching of the new optional subject.

groupphoto


In-country training on GIS and Remote Sensing for NRM


Director-CoRRB-with-the-participants
Twenty three officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (DoA, DoL, DoFPS, CoRRB, BAFRA, PPD, NBC, ICS) are attending two weeks training on GIS and Remote Sensing for NRM in Kuenphen Institute of Technology organized jointly by CoRRB and ICIMOD.
The main objective of the training is to impart knowledge and skills on application of GIS and RS in RNR sector projects and programmes. The Director of CoRRB in his opening remarks welcomed all the participants from different organizations of the MoAF to the training and he also emphasized the relevance of the GIS tools in climate change adaptation activities as we need to look back the changes that is taking place from past to the present and forecast the future scenarios. Mr. Govinda Joshi, GIS Specialist from ICIMOD in his introductory remarks gave a brief overview of the training programme which has two modules, first week (4 to 8 March) covering GIS and GPS and the second week (11 to 15 March) covering Remote Sensing which will be conducted by Mr. Gilani, ICIMOD.
The trainees are enthusiastic to learn and enhance their skills in application of GIS and RS in their respective work.

Submitted by:

First Stakeholder Meeting for the development of the Sectoral Adaptation Plan of Action and Coordination of EU support to Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) project


The Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) is conducting the first stakeholder meeting for the development of the Sectoral Adaptation Plan of Action (SAPA) and coordination of the EU support to Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) project from 26 -27th February 2013. Recognizing the need to mainstream climate change adaptation into the RNR sector’s 11th FYP, this first stakeholder meeting would facilitate the development of the Sectoral Adaptation Plan of Action (SAPA) for the RNR sector and would also serve as a platform for coordination and implementation of the upcoming EU-GCCA project. The overall objective of the proposed GCCA programme is to enhance resilience of Bhutan’s rural households to the effects of climate change. The specific objective is to ensure climate change readiness of the RNR sector in Bhutan by mainstreaming Climate Change into the sector and ensuring steps are taken towards increasingly addressing climate change adaptation at multi sectoral level. The cross cutting theme climate change is at the centre of the proposed programme. The programme substantially contributes to increased environmental sustainability since it introduces measures towards climate change adaptation into the RNR sector and establishes an overall adaptation action plan which will clearly have an impact on environmental aspects of the rural economy in Bhutan. This stakeholder meeting is aimed at preparing ourselves for the upcoming EU mission and the consultants in formalizing the project and accessing the EU funds.
Climate-chanve-RNR SAPA GCCA 1
The scientific technical committee members comprising of specialists and focal persons from various departments and central agencies deliberated and finalized SAPA outline and charted out the road map to develop the SAPA. Various thematic areas and adaptation action areas were also indentified to adapt to impacts of climate change in the RNR sector.


Agriculture Gains Academic Status
Agriculture and Food Security (AgFs) (Click Here)


Orientation of School Teachers on Agriculture as an Optional Subject Underway


Under the aegis of the MoU signed between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and the Ministry of Education to pilot “Agriculture and Food Security” as an optional subject for class IX and X, twenty teachers selected to teach Agriculture subject from 2013 academic session are undergoing week long (28 January to 3rd February 2013) orientation program on the new curriculum in Samtse. The orientation program coordinated by Department of Curriculum Research and Development, Department of School Education of MoE & Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) and is funded by CoRRB, MoAF.
The workshop is taking a close look into the content of the text book and clarifying the doubts so as to deliver the subject most efficiently in the school. The orientation program is also briefing the participants on the practical work and assessment systems. The workshop is organizing consultative sessions to develop implementing plan for the new curriculum. The motivation and commitment of the participating teachers is a true display for the success of the new curriculum. As briefed by the DCRD, a joint monitoring and evaluation of the new curriculum will be done during the piloting phase of 4 years after which decision will be made for the future course of action


(Note * By Dr. Tayan Raj Gurung, Farming System Specialist)
Submitted by: CoRRB on 31/1/2013


MoU signed between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and the Ministry of Education to pilot “Agriculture and Food Security ” (AgFS) as an optional subject for class IX and X from 2013 Academic Session.


30 January 2013, Thimphu: The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between two Hon’ble Secretaries, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and Ministry of Education to pilot “Agriculture and Food Security” as an optional subject for class IX and X from 2013 Academic Session.

two secretary with directors of MoAF and Corrb
Hon'ble Secretaries of MoAF and MoE exchanging signed MoU for AgFSC

Come this academic year 2013, the school children of class IX from selected 20 schools in 20 dzongkhags will be studying Agriculture as an optional subject. The Ministry of Education (MoE) in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) has introduced a new textbook containing 13 chapters, the course spread over two years in classes IX and X. The Textbook covers introduction to Bhutanese Agriculture, vegetable production, fruit production, Ornamental horticulture, medicinal and aromatic plants, Post harvest, dairy production, poultry and pig production. In addition, forestry, food and nutrition, farm management and establishing a small scale entrepreneurship are also covered in the later part of the book.
According to Dr. Tashi Samdup, Director of Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB), MoAF, the two ministries have been working closely to promote and create awareness and practical ideas to school children.
“Currently, there are over 209 schools in the country which have School Agriculture Programme (SAP) as a club activity,” said the Director. Besides instilling the dignity of labour, the benefits and impacts of SAP, he said, have resulted in increased awareness on importance of agriculture and availability of agriculture and livestock products in schools.
But the need was felt to move further from just awareness to more focused and systematic approach. Hence, the Agriculture as an optional subject in school curriculum has been conceived.
For initial period of four years which the MoU is valid upto, the subject will be piloted for same period of time. Like the MoU which will be subject to review annually prior to end of four years, the subject is also expected to evolve and further mature up as an elective subject for Classes XI and XII.
Further, orientation of teachers, supply of seeds and tools, provision of technical support are in the offing. “The seeds and tools will be supplied since the subject constitutes both theory and practical sessions.”
The focal agency from MoAF, CoRRB however attributes the success of such a textbook to the encouragement of Hon’ble Ministers and Hon’ble Secretaries of two Ministries who catalyzed the process. Other partners such as FAO, WFP and GNTECH University, South Korea have provided the financial support while resource persons from College of Natural Resources in Lobeysa under Royal University of Bhutan has contributed lots of inputs.
The 248 pages textbook developed by Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB), MoAF with Department of Curriculum Research and Development (DCRD), MoE was released by the Secretaries of the two Ministries.
book releaseNew Agriculture and Food Security (AgFS) Text Book was released

Pdf presentation presented by Dr. Tashi Samdup (Director, CoRRB) during the MoU Signing (Click Here)

 

Secretary’s visit to coffee plantation site

4 January, Sibsoo, Samtse: During the recent tour to the southern dzongkhags, the Hon’ble Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), Dasho Sherub Gyaltshen visited the Coffee plantation site at Hangay-Kalimati in Sibsoo. He was accompanied by officials from MoAF, Dzongdag and senior official of Samtse Dzongkhag.
The government has leased 300 acres of reserved forest land to Samden group for cultivation of coffee in 2011. The project is based on public private partnership scheme where the government invested about Nu. 90million. Hundreds of interested farmers from communities in proximity to coffee plantation site participated that was coordinated by the Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) who also monitors and guides implementation of the technical project.

The inaugural plantation of coffee seedling was done on 16 Sept 2011 by the Hon’ble Secretary himself. The objective of initiating such project are for promotion of commercial utilization of lands in the southern region, environmental rehabilitation, encourage permanent developed settlements, create income generating market opportunities and establish successful commercial enterprise. The plantation also provides the impetus for integrated agro-based business, growing, processing and exporting coffee products to international market and such noble project will usher immense benefits to the nation and the communities hence checking rural-urban migration.
Hon’ble Secretary meanwhile also met with the people and discussed on the constraints and the future expansion plans within the area. People appeared to be thankful and contented with the project at their place and still determined to develop commercial organic vegetable production, dairy farming, pasture development, bio-gas project and fishery farm. They have been conversing length to breadth about the potentiality in this kind of commercial farming regrettably some raised an issue on unavailability of fund from the government and financial institutes.
“It’s good to know about your plans and an initiative for self sufficiency to discourage import of products from bordering countries since our country is in the trench of rupee crisis,” said the Hon’ble Secretary. He also encouraged farmers in the area to focus on organic farming.
One of the issues raised was about wildlife conflicts especially elephants. The department of forests and park services has been replacing solar fencing for more than 15 times. “The herd recently paid their demolition visit in our village,” said one of the participants, pointing to big destructions of solar fencing provided by forestry sector.
Another added, “There is hardly anything we can do because it poses risk to our lives.” They said that the elephants come in herds and people normally drive them away by teaming up and make all types of colossal noise and do everything to chase these giants away. Their unwelcome visits are evident from the fallen banana plants, flouting solar fencing, leaning areca nut trees, crumbled huts, gaping holes on the walls and sometime even causing injuries to the residents. In every visit, they normally leave behind trail of destructions. Government has also done everything they could to find a lasting solution to the persisting problem. According to, Divisional Forest Officer of Samtse, some 9 km of power fences has been erected. But people need to equally participate and contribute towards government efforts.


Dzongkhag Education Officers attends SAP Seminar


Continuation to 16th annual education conference held at Phuentsholing, 37 Dzongkhag Education Officials from 20 Dzongkhags attended a daylong conference on School Agriculture Programme (SAP) on 10th January 2013.
DEO
Mr. Karma Yeshey, Director, Department of School Education graced the opening session highlighting the importance of implementing School Agriculture Programme in schools.
The seminar was convened to brief the DEOs/TEOs/ADEOs on the policy and plans for the 1 1 th FYP of SAP. Concept papers on the need of piloting agriculture as optional subjects in class IX¬XII from 2013. Also Farm to School (F2S) concept was presented and deliberated.

The presentations were made by Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) MoAF and SAFE Division, Department of School Education (DSE) MoE.



Training for 12th Batch focal agriculture teachers underway


A total of 19 school teachers identified as Focal Agriculture Teachers are undergoing a two weeks crash course training programme on integrated agriculture farming from 7 – 19 January 2013 at College of Natural Resources.

resource-person-and-participants-of-the-training
Resource person and participants of the Training
The course has been tailor-made as a regular training programme for School Agriculture Programme jointly implemented by CoRRB, MoAF and DSE, MoE. The course contains technical and theory classes on livestock production, vegetable gardening, horticulture tree plantation, EM, organic farming, mushroom, book keeping and SAP policy guidelines.
Currently there are 19 school teachers from 11 Dzongkhags who are member of School Agriculture Programme. After completing the training, these teachers will act as the focal point at school level for implementation of SAP activities and resource persons in school for integrated agriculture farming . The training is funded by SAP, CoRRB, MoAF.

(Note * By Mr.B.B Rai, Program Officer)
Submitted by: CoRRB on 18/1/2013

Collaboration with CAPSA (Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture)


During the recently concluded consultative meeting on “Opening Access to Agricultural Information and Knowledge in the Asia –Pacific Region” jointly organized by CoRRB, ICS APAARI and SAC CoRRB conducted a side meeting with director of CAPSA, Dr. Katinka Weinberger to discuss future collaboration.
CAPSA
Dr. Tashi Samdup, Director CoRRB and senior staff with CAPSA director Dr. Katinka Wienberger

Welcoming the CAPSA Director, Dr. Tashi Samdup, Director of CoRRB gave a brief over view of RNR research system of the country and highlighted the priority research areas for sustainable agriculture development. He mentioned that RNR sector’s goals are guided by principles of sustainable and equitable socio-economic development and environmental conservation. He also emphasized the priority and the quest to build more collaborative linkages with regional and international organizations to address the challenges/issues in the areas of climate change, conservation science, mountain forestry and food and nutrition security.

Dr. Tashi Samdup, Director CoRRB and senior staff with CAPSA director Dr. Katinka Wienberger
CAPSA Director, Dr. Katinka Weinberger, shared that CAPSA is a regional institute and subsidiary body of UNESCAP that operates under the overall goal to reduce poverty and enhance food security in the Asia and Pacific region by promoting sustainable agriculture. CAPSA’s mission is to strengthen south-south dialogue and intraregional learning on poverty, food insecurity and sustainable agriculture through research, advocacy and networking, capacity development and policy advice. CAPSA currently has funding made available through the European Union for Project called SATNET Asia and representative from Bhutan have been invited to join this project.
CAPSA usually works through focal institute in the member country of the ESCAP region and these focal institute are the research bodies under the Ministry of Agriculture, therefore in Bhutan CoRRB has been identifies as an ideal focal institute. ESCAP member countries automatically become a CAPSA member, as such Bhutan does not require a separate MoU or Letter of Agreement (LoA) to start collaborations with CAPSA.
Meeting identified following areas of collaborations/supports.
- Capacity building (meeting/workshops, short term training (in-country and regional). CAPSA could also co-fund training initiatives taken by CoRRB/MoAF
- Provide free services of CAPSA experts for policy advice and analysis for poverty and sustainable development, evaluation of programme etc
- Identification and development of research project
- Support for doing better research
CAPSA also agreed to extent invitation for network meeting scheduled to be held on Feb 11-12, 2013 at Bogor, Indonesia, depute regional adviser for poverty reduction and food security if required and invite Bhutanese participant to write-shop to be organized in New Delhi.
Besides discussion with CAPSA, CoRRB also explored the possibility of linkages and support with different organization/institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. Some of them are Council for Agricultural Research Policy (CARP) Srilanka; Cambodia Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI); and ICRISAT, India for digitalizing research library. Invitation to form joint technical working group between BARC and CoRRB was also sent to Chairman, BARC.

(Note * By Mr.Kailash Pradhan, Principal Research Officer)
Submitted by: CoRRB on 21st December, 2012


Experts Meet on Opening Access to Agricultural Information and Knowledge


Numerous researches are being undertaken by researchers from the Renewable Natural Resources (RNR) sector to help resource-poor smallholding farmers through the generation of modern RNR information and technologies. However, most of such research findings do not find their way to the farmers. Use of an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is deemed to be an effective means towards addressing this gap.
Open access
To address the issue of access to RNR information and knowledge, the eminent scientists and decision-makers from the Asia-Pacific regions participated on the Expert Consultation on Collective Actions for Opening Access to Agricultural Information and Knowledge Sharing here in Thimphu from 13 – 15 December 2012.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister for Agriculture and Forests, His Excellency Lyonpo (Dr.) Pema Gyamtsho said that although the food production and demand trends seem murky, there are means to undertake the challenge of feeding the world. He added that the primary factor that interacts with and influences agricultural productivity is the “agricultural information”. The minister shared that it can help inform decisions regarding land, labour, livestock, capital and management. Above all, he emphasized that agricultural productivity can arguably be improved by relevant and useful information and knowledge.
Director of Council of RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB), Dr. Tashi Samdup said that there is no dearth of RNR knowledge and information. However, the utilization and management of RNR information and knowledge is should be improved to have any impact on the farmers. He noted that advancement has been made in agricultural research but with huge challenges which still remains in transferring and sharing the knowledge with end users for whom such knowledge is generated. This expert consultation meeting, he said will attempts to induce mechanism and skills to disseminate knowledge and information appropriately and thereby contribute to poverty alleviation.
Lack of proper access channel to useful and relevant agricultural information was one of the contentious issues for agriculture development in Asia-pacific. Generating and opening access to relevant and useful information for smallholder farmers and producers and small rural entrepreneurs engaged in agriculture related businesses and livelihoods needs high attention by all actors in agricultural development in the region.
Requirement at this time of era, the participants said, during the technical sessions in their presentations is the access to agricultural information and its effective use by smallholder farmers in the Asia-Pacific region. They further said that it also requires collective action to implement policies and practices with targeted investment and capacity building, improve governance of agricultural information systems and strengthen partnerships and networks in support of opening access countries for greater sharing of agricultural data, information objects and knowledge by individual organizations and countries in the region.
“Collective action is all the more important to enable smallholder resource-poor farmers and producers to effectively share and use information and knowledge for agricultural innovation, especially in smaller and economically weak countries of the region,” said Dr. Raj Paroda, Executive Secretary of Asia-Pacific Association of Agriculture Research Institutions (APAARI).
The main objectives of convening such a meeting were;
 To identify collective actions that can be taken by various actors at national, regional and international levels in opening and sharing useful and relevant agricultural data, information and knowledge.
 To suggest and share good practices to guide national organizations to generate and open access to relevant and useful agricultural information for smallholder resource-poor farmers and producers in small and weak countries of the region
 To strengthen institutional commitment, partnerships and networks in support of opening access to agricultural information and knowledge in the region.
At the end of the meeting, the participants identified collective actions that can be taken by various actors at national, regional and international levels in opening and sharing useful and relevant agricultural data, information and knowledge. They also suggested and shared good practices to guide national organizations to generate and open access to relevant and useful agricultural information for smallholder resource-poor farmers and producers in small and weak countries of the region and strengthen institutional commitment, partnerships and networks in support of opening access to agricultural information and knowledge in the region.
According to the statistics, the Asia-Pacific region is the home to two-third of the world’s hunger which is affected by climate change, loss of biodiversity, spread of trans-boundary disease and other challenges. These have contributed to the steady decline in the growth rate of food grain production since the Green revolution. With almost 80 percent of the world’s small and marginal farmers living in this region, the ability to adapt and participate in emerging markets and new agricultural innovation systems is becoming challenging for smallholder farm families.
Realizing this need, the United Nations has designated the year 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming which emphasizes the role played by smallholder farmers in contributing to food security and eradicating hunger worldwide. The sustainability of family farming depends on its ability to respond to changing contexts, economic viability, environmental stewardship, and the intergenerational enhancement of knowledge, traditions, practices, resources, institutions, and social identity. Policies and institutions also influence the “sustainability of family farming”.
The importance of information and knowledge management is the key to overcoming such challenges. Hence, the need for research and development to enable new types of advisory services that integrate rural innovations and open access to agricultural information and knowledge to all, especially through use of emerging Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) benefitting the resource-poor smallholder farmers.
The expert consultation is jointly organized by APAARI, GFAR, FAO, SAARC Agriculture Center and the Council for Renewable Natural Resources Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) with the collaboration of Information and Communication Services (ICS) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.


Reported by: Ugyen Tshering and Kinley Tshering, ICS

Photo by: Athinut Traiamornvimarn, TICA volunteer, ICS
Submitted by: CoRRB on 18th December, 2012


Workshop on Opening Access to Agricultural Information and Knowledge in the Asia-Pacific Region

Thimphu, 13-15 December 2012: A Workshop is being held in Thimphu from 13-15 December 2012 on Expert Consultation on Collective Actions for Opening Access to Agricultural Information and Knowledge in the Asia-Pacific Region. This expert consultation is being jointly organised by APAARI (Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutes), GFAR (Global Forum on Agricultural Research, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations), SAC (SAARC Agriculture Centre) and the CoRRB (Council for Renewable Natural Resources Research of Bhutan) with ICS (Information and Communication Services) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.
The objectives of the workshop are:
 To identify collective actions that can be taken by various actors at national, regional and international levels in opening and sharing useful and relevant agricultural data, information and knowledge.
 To suggest and share good practices to guide national organisations to generate and open access to relevant and useful agricultural information for smallholder resource-poor farmers and producers in small and weak countries of the region.
 To strengthen institutional commitment, partnerships and networks in support of opening access to agricultural information and knowledge in the region.
The workshop experts hail from the countries of Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Bhutan.
The Workshop which is being held at Hotel Rochog Pel in Thimphu will end on Friday 15 December, 2012.


Submitted by: CoRRB on 12th December, 2012


QUOTATION FOR AIR TICKETS


The Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB), MoAF invites sealed quotations from authorized ticketing agents for travel as per the terms and conditions specified below:
Sector              Travel Date            Number of Passenger            Class
PBH– KTM         24/12/2012                  Seven Person                      Economy
KTM- PBH          1/1/ 2013                     Seven Person                      Economy

Terms and conditions:
1. The sealed quotation should be submitted to the Director, Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) on 10th December, 2012 at or before 3:00 PM and the opening will be on the same date at 3:30 pm.
2. Quotations received after the submission date and time will not be entertained.
3. The bidders should submit the valid Ticketing License issued by Ministry of Economic Affairs.
4. The Air Ticket shall be issued immediately from the date of issue of the Purchase Order.
5. Availability and confirmation of seats should be established before submitting the quotes
6. Confirmed itinerary must be submitted at the time of submission of the quotation.
7. The decision of the tender committee will be final and binding.

Submitted by: CoRRB on 3rd December,, 2012


Climate SMART Village – Collaborative Research Project


Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) in collaboration with Chubu University, Japan is developing a collaborative research project “Climate SMART Village to address the challenges posed by climate change in RNR sector.


There water sheds viz. Punatshangchu, Sarpangchu and Maukhola have been identified as research sites. Project aims to facilitate and sustain international cooperation on research and education in biodiversity, ecosystems, natural resources management, integrate watershed management, social and institutional design; IT enabled participatory planning and geospatial cyber-infrastructure. Some of the activities identified for the project are:
i. installation of FIELDSERVER for data collection for monitoring,
ii. Development of web-based GIS application for land use monitoring, disaster management and e-commerce,
iii. Monitoring of behavioral patterns of wildlife predation on farm (crop and livestock),
iv. Testing of UAV for ecosystem and real time monitoring,
v. integration and up-scaling existing education collaboration with CNR, RUB, etc. .
The project output is expected to provide models and technological options resilient to climate change for local farming communities, planner and policy makers. The project would initially be for a period of five years starting from 2013.
The project plans and activities were presented to the executives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests by the project formulation team from Chubu University led by Professor (Dr) Hiromichi Fukui on 27th November, 2012 in the MoAF conference hall. The debriefing session was chaired by Officiating Secretary, Dasho Karma Dukpa.
MoU SignSigning of work-plan took place between the two parties.

(Note * By Mr.Kailash Pradhan, Principal Research Officer)
Submitted by: CoRRB on 28 November, 2012

 

RNR Journal 2012 Available Online (pdf format)

Click here to View/download RNR Journal 2012 (Pdf Format)


Bidding Adieu
Dasho Tseten
Mr.Tseten Rabgay, Chief, Research Knowledge Management and Communication Division, Council for RNR Research of Bhutan has resigned under Early Retirement Scheme (ERS) with effect from November 2012.
During his 30 years of active service with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, he served in various Departments and contributed immensely towards the development of RNR Sector.

CoRRB family would like to wish him a very happy and prosperous post retirement.

Annual Production and Financial Reports from SAP Schools


The School Agriculture Program (SAP) jointly implemented by the Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and the Department of School Education (DSE) of the Ministry of Education has to compile its Annual Progress Report for submission to the Policy and Planning Division (PPD) and donors.
In this respect it is mandatory that all schools with SAP Programs submit the progress report both (production and financial) for the year 2012.
Therefore, all SAP member schools are requested to send their digital progress report in the form below. The duly filled progress reports can then be sent directly to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Please click here to download the PDF form


(Note * By Mr.B.B Rai, Program Officer)

Organic Agriculture is Not Traditional Agriculture


Organic agriculture is not a traditional agriculture, it is a combination of tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved said Dr. Andre Leu, president of International Federation for Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) and Chair, Organic Federation of Australia speaking during the seminar on “Organic Agriculture- The importance of Research organized by CoRRB in collaboration with National Organic Programme , DoA.
Organic ppt

During the seminar, Dr, Andre shared the research experiences of other countries and the benefits of organic agriculture. Research in many countries has shown that organic agriculture has the potential to yield higher than the conventional agriculture and have better resilience against the effect of climate change. Organic agriculture could help small farmers in Bhutan as they are by default practicing traditional agriculture so adding innovation and science would increase productivity and income.
Organic agriculture is a production system that emphasizes the health of soil, ecosystems and biodiversity. Organic agriculture system has multiple benefits as it is low cost, has potential for higher yield, environment friendly, enhances biodiversity and good for human health.

The seminar was attended by researchers and organic focal persons from various agencies under Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. Representative from private sectors were also present. Chairing the seminar, the Director of CoRRB emphasized the importance of organic agriculture for the Bhutanese farming system and highlighted the need for organic agriculture research in collaboration with IFOAM and other international partners.
Click the here for power-point presentation. For additional information contact Dr. Andre Leu at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or skype at andre.leu1
(Brief Note * By Mr.Kailash Pradhan, Principal Research Officer)
Submitted by: CoRRB on 31st October, 2012


Quotation for air tickets


The Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB), MoAF invites sealed quotations from authorized ticketing agents for travel as per the terms and conditions specified below:

Sector           Travel Date            Number of Passenger          Class
PBH– DEL    3/11/2012                  Three Person                   Economy
DEL– PBH    6/11/2012                  Three Person                   Economy


Terms and conditions:
1. The sealed quotation should be submitted to the Director, Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) on 31st October, 2012 at or before 4:00 PM and the opening will be on the same date at 4:15 pm.
2. Quotations received after the submission date and time will not be entertained.
3. The bidders should submit the valid Ticketing License issued by Ministry of Economic Affairs.
4. The Air Ticket shall be issued immediately from the date of issue of the Purchase Order.
5. Availability and confirmation of seats should be established before submitting the quotes
6. Confirmed itinerary must be submitted at the time of submission of the quotation.
7. The decision of the tender committee will be final and binding.

Submitted by: CoRRB on 30th October,, 2012


CoRRB seminar on “Organic Agriculture – the Importance of Research”


The Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) will be organising a seminar on “Organic Agriculture - The Importance of Research” by Mr. Andre Frederick Leu, President, International Federation for Organic Agriculture Movement and Chair, Organic Federation of Australia on 31 October, 2012 at 10.00 a.m to 11 a.m at the Department of Forest and Park Services conference hall.

31 October 2012 from 10.00 A.M – 11.00 A.M

Venue: Department of Forest and Park Services conference hall.

Mr. Andre Frederick Leu

President, International Federation for Organic Agriculture Movement, Bonn, Germany

Chair, Organic Federation of Australia

Seminar on “Organic Agriculture-The Importance of Research”

Chair: Dr. Tashi Samdup, Director, Council for RNR Research of Bhutan

Mr. Andre Frederick Leu currently holds the position of the President of International Federation for Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) with its head office in Bonn, Germany. He is also the Chair for the Organic Federation of Australia (OFA). He has more than 30 years of experience in organic production and research systems. Some of his popular publications include (i) Organic Agriculture can feed the world (ii) Organics and Soil Carbon (iii) Organic Systems and Climate Change

CoRRB intends to organise such lectures and seminars more frequently in order to share scientific knowledge and provoke discussions among the audience that may include researchers, extension workers, policy makers, lecturers and others in the field of renewable natural resources.

Note: Interested participants may contact Kailash Pradhan or Kunzang Choden at 322936/323514 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for confirmation of the participants.


School Agriculture Programme Awards 2012

SAP Award

The Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) and the Department of School Education (DSE), Ministry of Education (MoE) would like to congratulate all the winning schools and Dzongkhags for annual Agriculture Programme (SAP) Awards for 2012. In this respect, representatives either from the concerned Dzongkhag or School are requested to collect their cash prizes, trophies and certificates for securing the Best School Agriculture Farm 2012 from the office of School Agriculture Programme, CoRRB, , located outside the Tashichhodzong in Thimphu.

However, the prizes and certificates of the winners of SAP literary competitions will be dispatched to the respective Dzongkhag Education Officers, for further delivery to respective schools. For details of SAP literary winners please click here for CoRRB or visit web sits www.moaf.gov.bt or www.education.gov.bt.For further information, please contact Mr. B.B Rai at 17607471 during office hours.

(Brief Note * By B.B Rai, Program Officer (SAP))
Submitted by: CoRRB on 23rd October, 2012


“Feeding the world”: Will there be enough food for nine billion people in 2050?
DSC01218
October 16, 2012: World Food Day in Bhutan was celebrated at Buli Middle Secondary School (BMSS), under Nangkor geog in Zhemgang Dzongkhag.

To meet the peoples need for food and maintaining its system sustainable for now and in the future has emerge as a major challenge to the global. According to one of the comprehensive web news resource, by 2050 the world’s population will have grown to nine billion, and with increases in flooding globally and more frequent, long lasting droughts, the ecosystem is becoming increasingly strained which may not let the world for adapting to create sustainable and secure food system.

Agricultural cooperatives– key to feeding the world” was the formal wording of this year’s 2012 theme which is usually announced officially by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) every year. It has been chosen to highlight the role of cooperatives in improving food security and contributing to the eradication of hunger.
World Food Day (WFD) is observed by United Nations (UN) member countries every year on 16th October as the foundation day of FAO. This year is the 53rd anniversary of FAO. Bhutan has been observing this day ever since it became a UN member.
In Bhutan, WFD is usually celebrated in remote schools, which have the School Feeding Program funded by World Food Programme (WFP), and is a member of the School Agriculture Programme (SAP) under the Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) of the Ministry of Agriculture & Forests (MoAF). CoRRB is the focal agency representing the government for coordinating the event in collaboration with the FAO Office in Bhutan.
This year (October 16, 2012), the day was marked at Buli Middle Secondary School (BMSS), under Nangkor geog in Zhemgang Dzongkhag. Buli MSS is 36.6 km away from the Zhemgang and Gelephu highway (Dakpai). The School was initially established in 1983 as a primary school for students of Nangkor geog only which was located on a marshy plain near the village of Buli. The Ministry of Education has relocated the school to its present site at Tongshingpong which has a strategic and beautiful location with an area of 25 acres. The school was upgraded to middle secondary in 2010 under the policy of expansion of education system in the country. The school is a fully fledged boarding school, with classes ranging from pre-primary to ninth grade with 520 students from the three upper Kheng geogs of Nangkor, Bardo and Shingkhar.
The day was marked with participation of farmer groups from various chiwogs (villages) of Buli, Kilikhar, Tama, Berti and Dagpai under Nangkor geog display and sale of their farm products while various school students under Nagkor geog participated in literary competitions on the global theme. Awards for the best school in farming practice under SAP and best literary competition among various levels of schools in Bhutan were also awarded during the one day event.
Director at WFD Buli
Dr. Tashi Samdup, the Director of CoRRB, speaking to the students and other participants at Buli.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Tashi Samdup, the Director of CoRRB, informed the gathering that there are one billion people in the world who are under poverty line which even includes our country; hence it is very important for every one of us to understand the significance of observing this day; it is observed to create awareness and educate the populace how the governmental organisations and international organisations like FAO and WFP are working towards feeding hungry people and mitigating the poverty issues.

Dasho Karma Drukpa, Dzongdag of Zhemgang Dzongkhag graced the event as Chief Guest. The other participants included the teachers of Buli MSS, senior officials from the World Food Program, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, RNR staffs from nearby geogs, officials from Zhemgang Dzongkhag and geog administration officers.
The WFD event coordinator in Bhutan, CoRRB had organised the event last year at Wanakha Lower Secondary School, Paro Dzongkhag on the theme “Food Prices – From Crisis to Stability”. The school for observing next WFD 2013 will be announced soon.
Following the WFD event, a “Participatory Research and Extension Workshop” was organised at the Research and Development Centre, Bhur in Gelephu under Sarpang Dzongkhag. The team consisting of the Director and other senior officials from CoRRB attended the workshop. Other participants included the Programme Director of RDC Bhur and his team, the Programme Director of the National Aquaculture Centre, Program Director of the National Poultry Development Centre. The workshop was organised mainly to discuss and be acquainted with the constraints and issues faced by the research officials during carrying out their mandated tasks. The Director informed the gathering that although CoRRB cannot address all the constraints and issues at once, CoRRB will at least look into the possibility of solving it gradually. The workshop was chaired by the Director.
The team also visited the National Centre for Aquaculture and National Piggery Development Centre at Jampeling in Gelephu followed by School Agriculture Farming at the Sarpang Middle Secondary School and National Poultry Development Centre in Sarpang and had “face to face” discussions with the field.

-Report and Photographs by Chencho Gyeltshen, ICS


Sustainable Utilization of Resources and Climate Impacts on Forests of Bhutan

As part of the CoRRB Lectures and Seminars, Professor Dr. Masahiko Oshawa, Professor of Ecology, Yunnan University, China lectured on 12th October, 2012 from 9.30 am to 12. 30 pm at the conference hall, Department of Forest and Park Services. The seminar was chaired by Mr. Chencho Norbu, Director, Department of Forest and Park Services.
The talk highlighted on the importance of forests not just as carbon sinks but as a source of employment and livelihood in the developing world often acting as safety nets in times of need. The Himalayan countries like Nepal and Bhutan located between tropical and temperate regions have mostly primary and/or secondary natural forests and few plantation forests, and this is in strong contrast to those of temperate countries. In the natural forest, the sustainability of forest depends on the natural regeneration mechanisms of the component species, thus the ecological study on the structure and dynamics of forest is essential for the understanding of the sustainable use/management of natural forests in Bhutan.
Himalayan region is on a crossroad of various geographical and endemic elements and situated on the ecotone between tropics and temperate forest types and Bhutan Himalaya is pivotally placed in the distribution of the rich Eurasian flora and is home to primitive angiosperms like Decaisnea insignis and vessel less primitive angiosperm Tetracentron sinense. Bhutan has typical dry valley ecosystems along the major north-south valleys, which exhibit one of the richest concentrations of different ecosystems within a limited altitudinal or spatial range. Floristic elements concentrated in the dry valley ecosystems are the so-called Tethys elements which can be regarded as the palaeo-floristic elements once distributed along the coast of the Tethys sea (palaeo-Mediterranean sea) such as Pinus roxburghii, Pinus excelsa, sclerophyllous Quercus semecarpifolia trees.
Natural forest community show rich biodiversity and the diversity support various aspects of human well-being through ecosystem services. It is important to conserve the natural forest as compared to mono-specific plantation forest because they have higher species as well as regeneration-type diversity and this diverse regeneration regimes support highly adaptive nature of the forest against various disturbances and disasters.
Climatic factor was considered as one of the controlling factors for forest limit and the northern limit of the Tropical Evergreen Broad Leaved Forest (EBLF) can be defined by the coldest month’s mean temperature of -1 oC. Change in coldest month’s mean temperature can bring about potential vegetation changes in the future. A study was conducted in Japan, where they found out that with 2 oC rise in temperature in coldest months mean temperature, relict plant habitat disappears. However, climatic factor is not the only factor affecting forest limitation and composition; it is influenced by other factors such as grazing and other anthropogenic interferences.

(Brief Note * By Miss.Kuenzang Choden, Senior Research Officer)

Submitted by: CoRRB on 12th October, 2012


Global Sustainability and Conservation: Concerns and Views


As part of the CoRRB Lectures and Seminars, Dr Peter H. Raven, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, USA lectured on “Global Sustainability and Conservation” on October 5, 2012 from 2-4 p.m. at the conference hall of the Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. The seminar was chaired by Dr. Tashi Samdup, Director, CoRRB and jointly organized by CoRRB, NBC and Bhutan Ecological Society, UWICE.
corrb seminer pic

The seminar was attended by various Departments/Agencies under MoAF, WWF and RSPN.

The talk compares earth’s bio-capacity (how much bio-productive area is available to humans?) with ecological footprint (how much bio-productive area do we demand and use?). Studies on how much of the world’s sustainable productivity are we using showed that developed and developing countries like United Kingdom, USA, China and India have their ecological footprints outweigh bio-capacity fuelled primarily by increasing population growth. The current population of 7 billion people with 1 billion malnourished people is expected to grow by 2-2.5 billion people by 2050. With the spiraling upward trend in world’s population growth, current population has been projected to use 135 percent of the resources the earth generates in 2011. The global overshoot scenarios from 2007-2050 show that under “business as usual” two and half planets earth is needed to feed the world’s population otherwise rapid reduction in population growth and consumption appetite is needed to stabilize the trend. The overshoot scenario is compounded by poverty, drought, famine and diseases occurring in many developing countries.
Lessons distilled are to maintain national sustainability internally, stabilize population growth and consumption and use appropriate technologies. For the better conservation of the biodiversity of Bhutan, continued exploration to understand both the individual kinds of organisms and the ecosystems in which they occur is highly desirable through building institutions and human resource capacity and, devising appropriate policy instruments in partnership with foreign collaborators. On the basis of the on-going knowledge of the biodiversity, in-situ and ex-situ conservation areas need to be established for conservation and foster environmental education to combat accelerating environmental changes from inevitable global warming. The paper presented will be uploaded on corrb.gov.bt


(Brief Note * By Dr. Mani Ram Moktan, Principal Research Officer)
Submitted by: CoRRB on 9th October, 2012

Cooperating for Agriculture Development..MoU signed between BARC & CoRRB


H.E. Matia Chowdhury, Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, People’s Republic of Bangladesh and H.E. Lyonpo (Dr.) Pema Gyamtsho, Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan in the capacity as Chairperson of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC) and President of Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) respectively signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture Cooperation on 11th September 2012 in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dhaka, People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
MoU BARC  CoRRBTwo Ministers signing the MoU while Secretary, Agriculture, Executive Chairman, BARC, Joint Secretary, Agriculture, of Bangladesh looks on.

Her Excellency, the Minister expressed her sincere appreciation on Bhutan’s support to Bangladesh and look forward to take the two nation’s friendship to greater heights of technical collaboration and economic alliances. She reiterated that two friendly nations can achieve greater progress by sharing the expertise and resources. She underlined the fundamental advantages that the two nations have in the seasonality in crop production, and urged that technical agencies can collaborate to derive benefit of such diversity.
His Excellency, Lyonpo (Dr.) Pema Gyamtsho who was accompanied by officials from the Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB), Department of Marketing & Cooperatives (DAMC), Policy & Planning Division of MoAF with representatives of Bhutan Embassy officials in Dhaka, expressed his delight at this new development. He appreciated the advances made in agriculture research and development by Bangladesh, and highlighted that Bhutan could benefit through such technical collaboration and exchange of valuable germplasm. He also mentioned that Bhutan can reciprocate with the experiences on natural resource management, in the areas of environment conservation and water management and other areas. Lyonpo reiterated that, as we are located in different agro-ecological areas with Bhutan being in the upstream and Bangladesh vastly a low-lying country, the two countries have diverse challenges; however there are ample opportunities to complement each other with the expertise. He also mentioned that another area of cooperation can be to collectively address the issues of climate change by sharing real time information on GLOF and river flow. The concept of “Climate Smart Agriculture” which CoRRB is spearheading is another area wherein the two countries could collaborate. The signing of MoU on Agriculture Cooperation is yet another milestone in our long history of our friendship between Bangladesh and Bhutan
After the Signing of MoU, Lyonpo and the team visited Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC) and SAARC Agriculture Centre. A short seminar was organized by Executive Chairman of BARC where most of the DGs and Directors of all affiliated research centres were present. In the next two days, the delegation will visit Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation, Golden Harvest, and Bangladesh Academy of Rural Development, with a major objective to forge further research ties, exchange experiences on emerging agriculture development issues and challenges, and initiate a process to move ahead “with a spirit of good technical partnership” and “lasting friendship” between the two countries.


(Reported * By Dr. Tayan Raj Gurung, Farming System Specialist) from Dhaka
Submitted by: CoRRB on 13th September, 2012

Penergetic knocks on Bhutan’s door


“Penergetic products aim at finding solutions that remedy the causes rather than just the symptoms of problems”, said Mr. Tarun Keram of Penergetic India, at the 7th CoRRB Lectures and Seminars Series held on 7th September 2012 at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests conference hall, Thimphu.
TarunThe seminar with the topic, “Taming the soils, cow dungs and more” was chaired by Dr. Pema Gyamstho, the Minister of Agriculture and Forests.
So, what is Penergetic?
Penergetic is a Swiss-based company that manufactures and markets a range of products that are acclaimed to heal and support weakened environmental processes with lasting stability. Briefly, the products and their respective functions are: Penergetic-K is applied to soil for restoring soil health; Penergetic-P helps to boost plant growth; Penergetic-T is meant for boosting immune system of livestock and general productivity; Penergetic-G is for slurry treatment on farms and converting them into valuable liquid fertilizer; and AquaKat is for drinking water treatment.
Mr. Tarun emphasized that the beauty of the products lie in their small application dosages and large agricultural benefits. For instance, the application dosage for Penergetic-K is just 20 gm in 10 litres of water for 1 hectare of land.
The seminar was attended by more than 30 people mostly from various agencies of the MoAF, representing a varied background including soil, organic program, livestock and so on. Some participants asked whether Penergetic products are similar to EM (Effective Microorganism®) products to which Mr. Tarun said that the two are entirely different products.
Penergetic products have so far spread to 27 countries worldwide and they intend to add Bhutan to the list. On this the Minister suggested that CoRRB should liase with the company and coordinate trial-runs for suitability and efficacy of the products in collaboration with the concerned departments/agencies. If found suitable and beneficial to our system, then CoRRB’s Technology Release Committee can formally give the green signal for an all-out marketing and use of Penergetic products on Bhutanese farms.


(Brief Note * By Chencho Dukpa, Chief Research Officer)
Submitted by: CoRRB on 10th September, 2012


Vegetable Availability Calender (By Dzongkhag)


Brief Description:
With the pressure to enhance production and availability of vegetable in major urban centres, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests through Department of Agriculture and Department of Agriculture Marketing and Cooperatives has been initiating commercial production of vegetable and organizing market. An initiative to facilitate marketing, CoRRB in collaboration with Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector of all dzongkhags compiled information on seasonal availability of vegetable in all dzongkhags. Using the data of 2011 season the booklet also provides some indication of major vegetable production geogs across the countries.


(Brief Note * By Dr. Tayan Raj Gurung, Farming Specialist)


Topic: Vegetable Availability Calender (By Dzongkhag) Available Online Click here to view in detail
Submitted by: CoRRB on 5th September, 2012


Literary competitions for School Agriculture Programme for the year 2012


Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB), MoAF and Department of School Education (DSE) MoE are pleased to announce the following literary competitions for School Agriculture Programme for the year 2012.
(Brief Note* By B.B Rai, Program Officer)


A. Categories of competitions
• Higher Secondary (classes XI-XII) - Essay
Topic: On WFD Global theme 2012

• Middle secondary (classes IX-X) - Essay
Topic: Impact of climate change on food production

• Lower secondary (Classes VII-VIII) - Essay
Topic: Linking farm to school - Keys to feed the world

• Primary level (Classes IV-VI) – Poster
Topic: Healthy food menu for a day

• Pre Primary (Classes PP- III) - Poster
Food and vegetables in the garden
A. Terms and References
I. Essays for all three categories
1. It should be hand written in plain A4 size paper.
2. Name, class and address should be written at the back of paper.
3. Word limit 400 – 500
4. The entries should be forwarded either by Principal or Focal Agriculture Teacher.
5. Each School will send only first three best articles.
II. Posters for two categories at Lower Level of classes
1. Poster should be drawn with a pencil. (Colouring is optional).
2. It should be drawn on A4 size plain paper.
3. Name, class and address should be written at the back of paper.
4. Each School will send only first three best articles.
Both entries should reach CoRRB Office latest by 30th September 2012. Entries can be sent either by post, hand post, internet attachment or even by fax at 322504. For details contact B.B Rai (17607471) or Desang Dorji at (17604439)

Submitted by: CoRRB on 4th September, 2012

 

English-Dzongkha Bi-lingual Dictionary of RNR Terminologies available Online
Brief Description:
English-Dzongkha Bi-lingual Dictionary will serve as a reference material for extension work in assisting the farmers while transferring the technologies.
All our extension colleagues are encouraged to download a copy (in case they have not received hard copy) and make full use of it while implementing the plans & programs of the ministry.
(Brief Note* By: Toyonath Acharya, Principal Planning Officer)
Topic :English - Dzongkha Bi-lingual Dictionary Click here to view in detail


Submitted by: CoRRB on 30th August, 2012

Proceedings and Resolutions of 3rd RNR Research Council Meeting available online Click here to view in detail
(Prepared* By: Kuenzang Choden, Senior Research Officer)
Submitted by: CoRRB on 30th August, 2012

MoU signed between MoAF and Chubu University-Japan


20th August 2012: Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and the Chancellor, Chubu University signed an MoU to establish cooperation between CoRRB and Chubudai and promote academic, scientific and cultural exchange activities. Through this collaboration, it envisaged to initiate collaborative research project on social science, sustainable development, green economy, gross national happiness, and integrated watershed management.

One of the highlight of the collaboration is the plan to initiate pilot research on SMART village concept which will be a tripartite mode between RDC-CoRRB-Chubudai. The MoU also covers the exchange of faculty researchers and students in areas of mutual interest, training both short-term and long-term.

CoRRB will involve relevant agencies within the scope of the MoU to expand the benefit of the collaboration.
(Brief Note * By Dr. Tayan Raj Gurung, Farming Specialist)
Submitted by: CoRRB on 24th August, 2012


Quotation for air tickets


The Council for RNR Research of Bhutan (CoRRB), MoAF invites sealed quotations from authorized ticketing agents for travel as per the terms and conditions specified below:

Sector               Travel Date                 Number of Passenger        Class
PBH – DHK       10/9/ 2012                                 Three Person               Economy
DHK – PBH      14-15/9/2012 (Seat Availability) Three Person               Economy

Terms and conditions:
1. The sealed quotation should be submitted to the Council for RNR Research of Bhutan office on 23rd August, 2012 at or before 3:00 PM.
2. The quotation must be addressed to the Director, CoRRB, MoAF, Thimphu.
3. The quotation will be opened on the same day at 3:30 PM. Quotations received after the submission date and time will not be entertained.
4. Availability and confirmation of seats should be established before submitting the quotes.
5. Confirmed itinerary must be submitted at the time of submission of the quotation.
6. The decision of the tender committee will be final and binding.
Submitted by: CoRRB on 22nd August, 2012

Third Council Meeting for CoRRB

3rd Council MeetingHis Excellency Lyonpo (Dr.) Pema Gyamtsho launching the English–Dzongkha bi-lingual dictionary of RNR terminologies

Thimphu, July 30: The 3rd RNR Research Council meeting was held at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) Conference Hall. His Excellency Lyonpo (Dr.) Pema Gyamtsho, who is the President of the Council, chaired the meeting. The meeting was held to apprise the members of the actions taken on the 2nd Council meeting’s resolutions, present updates on the progress of the Council Secretariat for fiscal year 2011-12, seek endorsement on the 2012/13 work-plan of the Secretariat and to seek feedback on CoRRB’s 11th FYP framework.
Speaking at the opening of the council meeting, the Hon’ble President remarked that CoRRB plays a very important role in achieving the goals of the RNR sector through its facilitation and backstopping the research system.
He added that some of the key tasks that CoRRB should undertake include the creation of a research fund which can be made available to conduct need-based research, particularly of thematic or strategic nature. He also suggested to initiate the process of plough-back mechanism to fund research for certain commodities. For example, some percentage from the income of Cordyceps sale, tourism, hydropower, potato growers could be ploughed back into the research fund to support research. Eventually such a mechanism should lead to making RNR research sustainable and self-reliant.
In order to make the research meaningful and client oriented, the council suggested to create an inventory of all the technologies, available in the field in various forms. Some technologies have been developed through development projects and not necessarily through research system. And yet they are existing in the field and being used by the farmers. These technologies should therefore be collated, screened and cosolidated for wider application and replication.
The meeting concluded with the official launching of CoRRB’s website, release of English–Dzongkha bi-lingual dictionary of RNR terminologies, release of vegetable availability calendar and pictorial map of RNR products. The Hon’ble Lyonpo also handed over the cash prize of Nu. 10,000/- for best article in the 7th volume of RNR Journal to Ms. Kuenzang Choden, Sr. Research Officer from CoRRB. Two new members, Secretary of the National Environment Commission and the Director of Research and External Relations, Royal University of Bhutan also joined the meeting.

(Brief Note* By: Toyonath Acharya, Principal Planning Officer)
Submitted by: CoRRB on 2nd August, 2012

CoRRB attempts to demystify herbal garden & floriculture practices for school teachers

CoRRB initiated a four day crash course training (2nd to 5th July 2012) for school teachers on herbal gardens at RNR-RDC Yusipang and on floriculture at NBC Serbithang. The training was financially supported by FAO Bhutan office, with technical assistance from RNR-RDC, Yusipang and National Organic Programme.
The Director of CoRRB, Dr Tashi Samdup in his opening remarks stated that the idea for such training “to promote herbal gardens in schools” is based on a joint initiative by ICIMOD/Nepal and CoRRB.

Herbal Garden
The Director stated that “herbs, especially medicinal plant resources are increasingly becoming more important in society but are in the danger of becoming a scarce resource as they are being over harvested from the wild, thus cultivation of herbs and medicinal plants is becoming imperative. Training on Floriculture is also being imparted as it adds to the aesthetic value of the school campus.”
Participants-at-Botanical-Garden-Serbithang-300x225
The teachers who attended the course were either the “Focal Nature Club or the Focal Agriculture Teacher” in their respective schools. The training which was remarked as being very informative and useful by the teachers emphasized on aspects such as school greening by imparting skills, knowledge & provision of basic tools to assist the teachers to initiate herbal gardens as well as to enhance their existing floral gardens. Some teachers were happy that they learnt the right techniques to propagate plants vegetatively as till now they were using the wrong techniques and “wondering why the plants they put in the schools didn’t grow”. The intention of the training is that the teachers create awareness and impart some of these basic skills and knowledge to their school students. CoRRB hopes that as a result of this training the schools will partake in an annual competition which will be coordinated by CoRRB to showcase their activities and their efforts in order to enhance the awareness on herbs and gardens in schools. The efforts we feel should eventually culminate in a more greener, healthier and a happier school.

(Brief Note * By Dr. Tayan Raj Gurung, Farming Specialist)
Submitted by: CoRRB on 9th July, 2012