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Climate Smart Agriculture Program in Chhukha and Zhemgang Dzongkhags

The Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) is currently implementing a Climate Smart Agriculture program (as part of the REDD+ Phase-IV) in Chhukha and Zhemgang Dzongkhags. The project “Empower small scale Bhutanese farmers to increase crop yields and sustainable livelihoods through climate smart agriculture approaches” aims to promote climate smart agriculture and generate awareness on REDD+ and climate change related issues in the two Dzongkhags. The project will also attempt to upscale the past agro-ecological farming program funded by Organic Denmark.

The project has three major components as follows:

  1. Awareness and advocacy for farmers and students on impacts of climate change, REDD+, waste and water management for sustainable utilization of ecosystem services interventions in their locality;
  2. Training of farmers on climate resilient seed production, soil fertility and pest management, organic farming approaches and natural resource management as part of mitigation and adaptation to climate change impacts; and
  3. Provision of demonstration garden to raise climate resilient vegetable seeds through climate smart agriculture technologies.

The project is funded by Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF)/World Bank and will be implemented for a duration of four months (February to May, 2020). While the project could be delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the following activities have been completed.

Climate Smart Vegetable Demonstration Garden

RSPN has provided and installed demonstration garden for the Kikhar Woman Group in Zhemgang to raise climate resilient vegetable seeds through climate smart agriculture technologies. The demonstration garden consists of medium size poly-house/greenhouse) with drip irrigation facilities. The Women Group members were also provided the basic trainings on demonstration garden management and raising nursery seedlings inside the poly-house/greenhouse. The activities were initiated with the technical backstopping from Zhemgang Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector.

Vegetable Seeds and Agriculture Tools

RSPN also provided 11 varieties of vegetable seeds and 6 varieties of agriculture tools to the farmers’ groups of Tali, Kikhar, Dakpay, Berti and Takabi in Zhemgang Dzongkhag. The provision of vegetable seeds and agriculture tools is to empower vulnerable women’s groups in promoting climate smart agriculture technologies, organic vegetable production and generate additional income.

The same program will be initiated in Bayul-kuenza village of Chhukha Dzongkhag, and additional activities such as awareness and trainings will be provided to farmers of both Chhukha and Zhemgang Dzongkhags in the coming months. The farmers groups in both the Dzongkhags consists mostly of women members. 

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At RSPN, we believe a single grain of sand can tip the scale. You can be the grain that tips the scale towards improved environmental conditions and conservation efforts in Bhutan. RSPN has set a target to raise US$ 1.5 million for next 10 years.