Japan grants farm machineries worth Nu 300M

The Government of Japan handed over farm machines worth approximately Nu. 300 M to
Ministry of Agriculture and Forests on 25 March coinciding with the 30th death anniversary of the late Dasho Nishoka

STAFF REPORTER

Thimphu

Coinciding with the 30th death anniversary of the late Dasho Nishoka who was a pioneer in the agriculture development in Bhutan, the government of Japan granted farm machineries worth Nu 300m.

The farm machineries include some 400 farm equipment comprising of 200 power tillers, 150 mini tillers, 30 tractors and 20 mini combine harvesters, their implements, repair tools, washing equipment and spare parts.

The grants were handed over by the chief representative, Watanabe Kozo, JICA Bhutan office to the MoAF at the Agriculture Machinery Centre (AMC), Paro on March 25. Minister Shingo Miyamoto, Embassy of Japan, Delhi also attended the event through a video conference.

The agriculture minister, on behalf of the government of Bhutan, thanked the government of Japan and people of Japan for the warm gestures.

Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor informed the gathering that the machines will greatly support in enhancement of mechanization in agriculture to achieve food and nutritional security in the country.

“Now with the country gearing towards commercial agriculture, machines are important,” he said.

The minister also emphasized that supports are also needed in post-harvest technologies and in marketing infrastructures and technologies to encourage production and facilitate proper marketing.

Lyonpo Yeshey Penjore also acknowledged the previous government under Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay for requesting the farm machines during his tenure.

“Mechanization mitigates drudgery, encourages commercial farming and youth participation and also reduces production cost in the commodity value chain,” he said.

The chief representative, JICA while handing over the machines said that these machines may greatly suit the local needs and different terrain requirements.

“The projects under MoAF, aided by the new equipment, will eventually help in agriculture production enhancement in Bhutan,” the JICA representative said.

Meanwhile the government of Japan since 1964 has been instrumental in promoting good agriculture and farm mechanization in Bhutan. From 1984 until 2012, the country had received Japanese machines under the KRII grant totaling to approximately 3000 power tillers influencing lives and agricultural practices.

Similarly in 2018, MoAF received 353 power tillers under the Grant Aid Project phase-I while this year, 400 different machines under the phase-II were delivered.

The government is supporting in the hiring of machines along with its sale of to farmers to encourage optimum utilization of machine and for those who cannot afford to own one. Hiring service at present is being implemented by Farm Machinery Corporation Limited (FMCL) with government support.

Similarly, hiring by private individuals has begun leading to a good trend. As of now hiring is initiated by government to provide awareness, and eventually private entrepreneurs are being encouraged to take enterprise forward.

Meanwhile, private sectors are also encouraged to promote mechanization with sale of different farm machines and technologies with import tax exemption.

Among others free trainings are provided to all stakeholders through AMC, which includes new technologies and technical supports, free testing of their machines to ensure standards and quality benefitting both sellers and buyers.

The government has also been supporting farmers to buy machines with low interest loans from National CSI Development Bank Limited.