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Organic Agriculture in Bhutan: Dream of 100%bOrganic is Stalled at Reality of 1% Organic

Paull, John (2023) Organic Agriculture in Bhutan: Dream of 100%bOrganic is Stalled at Reality of 1% Organic. European Journal of Development Studies, 3 (5), pp. 58-61.

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Document available online at: https://www.academia.edu/107281277/Organic_Agriculture_in_Bhutan_Dream_of_100_Organic_is_stalled_at_reality_of_1_Organic


Bhutan is a poor country with 51% of the population employed in agriculture, and little manufacturing. Forests accounts for 71% of Bhutan, and agriculture 8%. The average landholding is 1.4 hectares per household. Many farmers practice ‘traditional’ farming using forest litter and farm yard manure. The inputs for chemical agriculture (synthetic fertilisers and pesticides) are generally imported and expensive. Bhutan announced a goal of 100% organic agriculture in 2006. Looking after the environment and animal welfare, and not poisoning insects and other living things are precepts congruent with Buddhism, the national religion of Bhutan. So, organic agriculture appears to be a ‘good fit’ for Bhutan. Yet, nearly two decades after declaring the 100% goal, there appears to have been near zero progress based on the parameter of certified organic agriculture. Longitudinal data of organic agriculture hectares for the past two decades reveal that the goal of 100% appears to be wishful thinking, with the reality of 1.09% organic agriculture. In the meantime, a neighbouring Indian state of India, Sikkim, with many geographic, climatic and demographic comparables, has achieved its goal of 100% organic. Sikkim is a blueprint of how to achieve 100% organic, while Bhutan is a blueprint for how not to (so far).

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Certification, goal setting, Himalayas, India, organic farming, organic food, planning, Sikkim.
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Farming Systems
Values, standards and certification
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > India
Knowledge management
Research affiliation:Australia > University of Tasmania
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Deposited By: Paull, Dr John
ID Code:51734
Deposited On:09 Oct 2023 07:58
Last Modified:09 Oct 2023 07:58
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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