A Learning Journey at the Cutting Edge of Organic Agriculture Programme in Bhutan
25 November – 4 December 2017, Lobesa and Tsirang, Bhutan
With the support from College of Natural Resources (Dr. Sonam Tahsi and Mr.Tenzin Wangchuk) and Tsirang Community (Dilip Kumar Subba and Amber), TOA had successfully organized 6th Young Organic Farmers in Bhutan.
All together it was a group of 5 international participants (Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam) and 10 participants from Bhutan to build capacity of young farmers by experiential learning process with in-depth sharing & discussion, and field works, to holistically learn organic agriculture programme from CNR and organic seeds project from local communities in Bhutan, to maximize the organic agriculture ability and minimize the organic agriculture obstacle, and to exchange about agricultural issues and strengthen the network of young organic farmers among Mekong Countries and Bhutan.
Part I, Young Organic Farmer Forum: A Learning Journey at the Cutting Edge of Organic Agriculture Programme in Bhutan was held at the CNR; the programme had presentations &discussion session in the morning as follows:
- How to maximize organic agriculture and organic food system, The experiences from Bhutan
- Young Organic Farmers: Current Situation and Expectations
- Organic agriculture principles and Ecological System
- Bhutanese Culture and local knowledge on farming and healing
- Strengthening Social fabric that support organic agriculture and local food
- Harvesting, Processing and Marketing Organic Food to Revitalize Local Economy
And following afternoon are farm visit to medical and Aromatic Plants Garden,Companion Plants Garden, and CNR farm,including daily reflection on personal lessons learned.
Part II, the group traveled to visit Faladay and Beteni communities in Tsirang to deepen knowledge and understanding on natural farming and organic agriculture and organic seeds project in Bhutan.
Faladay and Beteni community are good example of community resilience, villagers are practicing natural and traditional farming, growing buckwheat, millet, maize, cardamom, orange, various kind of vegetable, and so on. YOF group visited and learned about vegetable plantation,organic seeds production, vermi-compost, use of local resources, and beekeeping. Another obvious example and model of practicing self-sufficiency,respecting diversity and management skills, very inspiring model for young people to apply once their return home.
Participants had shared the highlights from the learning journey:
- Using local material & resources- rice pounding machine, sprinkle, etc
- New knowledge on farming, appropriate technology, and beekeeping
- Understanding farm management, water management
- Technique and practice on soil improvement (cover the soil)
- New variety of vegetables and plants (tomato, chili)
- Marketing for organic products
- Seed production techniques, Organic Seeds Project
- Local Food and Local Seeds Preservation
- Wild Animals Protections and Prevention
- Young Farmer Motivations and building relationship
- Strengthening community, revitalize local economy
- Traditional way of living in the village