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Agriculture and Rural Development

Improving Agricultural Systems and Raising Prosperity in Rural Bhutan

Izabela Leao's picture
Tara Nidhi, farmer and beneficiary of the Remote Rural Communities Development Project
Tara Nidhi, farmer and beneficiary
of the Remote Rural Communities
Development Project (RRCDP) in Bhutan.
Photo Credit: Izabela Leao/World Bank

“I never thought I would see a road passing by my house in this lifetime,” says Tara Nidhi, a 70-year old farmer who lives in a remote community of Samtse Dzongkhag in Southwest Bhutan. A beneficiary of the Remote Rural Communities Development Project (RRCDP), he and his family have benefitted from the construction of a new farm road and protection from landslides through RRCDP support – a project that promotes the increasing of agricultural productivity and development of communities’ access to markets, irrigation, agricultural technologies, and community infrastructure in 26 Gewogs (village groups) under six Dzongkhags (districts) in Bhutan: Chhukha, Dagana, Haa, Samtse, Trongsa, and Wanduephodrang.

Driving Prosperity through Access to Rural Roads

Coming to completion in May 2018, RRCDP has improved road access to markets to at least 11 project Chiwogs (hamlets) in Samtse and Trongsa Dzongkhags – building 22.9 kilometers of farm roads and benefitting about 299 households. With the construction of new farm roads, the most commonly marketed agricultural and livestock products amongst farmers in project areas have been cardamom, vegetables, butter, cheese, and citrus, and to a lesser extent, rice, potatoes, and eggs. Additionally, beneficiaries have also reported a significant reduction in the time of travel between their households and markets – up to 8 hours in some cases! The majority of the Bhutanese population live in remote rural areas – hours, sometimes days of walking from the nearest road. They walk their children through dense forests and rivers to reach schools and health clinics; they carry their agricultural and livestock products to nearby markets on their backs – an average load of 30kg. A horse carrying a 50kg load costs approximately Nu.5 per kilogram.

Now, with road accessibility, farmers use pick-up trucks at the cost of Nu.2 per kilogram. After a RRCDP farm road construction in Samtse, for example, four households bought pick-up trucks and ten individuals bought motorcycles – mainly benefitting the transport of cardamom. Better road accessibility through RRCDP have also fostered the construction of concrete flush toilets outside households and the construction of new concrete-built homes, as well as the expansion of irrigation schemes. Finally, road accessibility has also impacted social dynamics in rural areas benefitted by the project. While in the past mostly men would go to the nearest town markets on their own, today, all family members, including women and children can go to the market in the morning and return to their homes in the evening. Some women have even reported that they are learning to drive.[1]

The project has also supported beneficiaries in 88 Chiwogs with access to community and marketing infrastructure, such as power tiller tracks, power tiller machinery, and food bridges – with a total of 3,597 households benefitted. In Norgaygang Gewog, for example, with support from the project, the construction of 4 kilometers of power tiller track in 2016, has brought multiple benefits to the community, such as easier access to schools and healthcare in case of emergency.

आंखें आसमान से गांवों में बिजलीकरण पर नज़र रखने में मदद करती हैं

Kwawu Mensan Gaba's picture

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नाइटलाइट्स आईओ
"नाइटलाइट्स आईओ रास्ता द‌िखलाने वाला एक मंच है, जो उस तरीके में बदलाव लाएगा, ज‌िससे ‌दुनिया ऊर्जा की
उपलब्धता की वैश्विक चुनौती का समाधान करती है। ये साधन (टूल्स) उन लोगों को ऊर्जा संबंधी समाधान मुहैया
कराने में हमारी मदद करेंगे, जिन्हें इनकी सबसे ज़्यादा ज़रूरत है
"
                                                                 - तेजप्रीत चोपड़ा, प्रेसिडेंट और मुख्य कार्यकारी, भारत लाइट एंड पॉवर।

बिजली पूरी दुनिया में लोगों की खुशहाली का अभिन्न अंग है। बच्चे रात में बिजली की रोशनी में पढ़ सकते हैं, सड़कों पर बिजली की रोशनी होने से महिलाएं अधिक हिफ़ाज़त के साथ घर पहुंच सकती हैं और बाज़ार दिन छिपने के बाद भी खुले रह सकते हैं।