Improve the food security and economic conditions of 200 women farmers organized into 5 women’s groups with the introduction of sustainable agricultural techniques, training, mechanization and access to agricultural markets in Mongar county in Bhutan.
The project is active in Mongar County, under the Mongar District (the district and county share the same name). Given its geographical position, in the center of the eastern region of the country, and due to its distance from the main border economic exchanges, it hosts the largest number of people living
below the poverty line.
The county grows cereals such as rice, corn, wheat, barley, buckwheat and millet and horticultural products such as: chili pepper, radish, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, pumpkin, beans, eggplant and many others.
WHY DO WE ACT IN THIS AREA
In recent years, the COVID-19 emergency has had strong and immediate impacts on Bhutan’s economy, paralyzing the production system and import-export.
Many young people and migrants who have returned from India are trying to resume agricultural activities to self-produce the food needed for their families. It is estimated that to date, due to the closure of the country, tens of thousands of people, mostly young people, have lost their jobs and are not able to survive for long, particularly in the winter months, if immediate action is not taken. .
The project was born from the request of the Mongar County Government, the Department of agricultural technical assistance of the county and by the women of this county who turned to Nyo Foundation, ASIA’s local partner, to receive support.
While men work mainly in the construction sector, the primary sector, agricultural production, is an activity often carried out only by women; However, the poor mechanization and the difficult topography of the area make it very challenging for the farmers to carry out their daily tasks. This is precisely what happens in Mongar County, where villages develop on territories with extremely irregular topography. It is therefore important to make agriculture a possible job for women too, reducing their physical fatigue and increasing the efficiency of their techniques and practices. Only in this way will it be possible to promote the country’s agricultural development for greater local production in rural areas in favor of food self-sufficiency in Bhutan and the creation of decent work opportunities for young women.
The project aims to increase the production capacity of the area and the income of peasant families, through:
- the entry of young women into the primary sector;
- the strengthening of cultivation and mechanization techniques for greater productivity and environmental sustainability of the agricultural sector;
- an organizational improvement of 5 groups of women capable of starting sustainable production processes and marketing;
The specific objectives are:
- Increase the presence of young female workers in the primary sector by 200 units in the county;
- Allocate 25 acres of land to production, chosen from marginal, abandoned and low-biodiversity areas;
- Increase horticultural production (potatoes, chillies, tomatoes, onions, cauliflowers, broccoli) with organic farming techniques with high agro-biodiversity;
- Increase the production of Quinoa and corn per season with organic production;
- Bring new products to the market
- Training for 200 women in financial management, agricultural techniques of organic production, mechanization, use and management of the equipment provided by the project and needs/characteristics of the crops promoted;
- organization of 5 working groups made up of 2 villages each
- identification of crops, horticultural products for each cultivation area and appropriate sales strategies for each product;
- identification of land to be allocated to cultivation, starting from marginal areas and former abandoned cultivations and verification of use rights;
- supply of seeds and light machinery (such as rotary cultivators) to trained women;
- support for the production of vegetables, quinoa and corn;
- support for the sales phase, connection with the most promising markets and market analysis;
- Training for 200 women in business plans and sales strategy
The direct beneficiaries are the 200 women who will be trained in organic agricultural production techniques and in the use of light machinery introduced to make the work less physically demanding. The indirect beneficiaries are the 5,889 inhabitants of Mongar County who, once the project is completed, will be able to take advantage of more solid sales channels and more effective logistics.
Druk Nyo Foundation
PROJECT FUNDED BY