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Food Security and Agriculture Productivity (FSAPP)

$8 million to raise agricultural output through improved irrigation, water management, farm mechanization, and adoption of agriculture production technology.
Curt Carnemark/World Bank


Bhutan is a small landlocked nation located in an ecologically risky area high in the Himalayan mountain range, with diverse ecosystems and one of the highest proportion of forest in Asia. However, the amount of arable land is only 8% of the total land area, while areas under cultivation are only about 3%. Large areas are exposed to monsoons, floods, droughts, landslides, and earthquakes. Over a third of Bhutan’s poor live in rural areas, and almost 70% of the rural population are engaged in subsistence farming. These areas are very isolated, with nearly three-quarters of these households living hours or a day walking distance from the nearest road. The agriculture sector is dominated by smallholder subsistence farmers who occupy the majority of the arable land and produce most of the crop and livestock products – however more men and young people are migrating to urban areas, leading to the femininization of the sector. 


FSAPP increases agricultural productivity and enhances market linkages among a target of 52,000 poor people (30 percent women) in select rural districts in southwest Bhutan. The project supports the government's efforts to reduce rural poverty and high levels of malnutrition through climate smart agriculture productivity enhancements for food and nutrition security and to increase farmers’ access to local and export markets, particularly for key high-value crops. It addresses the interconnected problems that farmers and rural households face through a set of integrated, consolidated, area-specific interventions that respond to local constraints, potential, and priorities. The project also supports productivity enhancement of food crops such as rice, maize, potato, vegetables, and pulses and possibly of quinoa, citrus, apples, potatoes, and high-value crops (e.g., spices, especially large cardamom and ginger). Key activities include strengthening producers’ groups; developing irrigation, including on-farm sprinkler and drip systems; providing improved agri-inputs and farm equipment; and supporting home-grown school feeding programs.

Project Status



  • Bhutan



Focus area

  • Climate Change
  • Gender
  • Nutrition

Supervising entity

  • World Bank


To date, the project has reached more than 6,500 people, with the aim of reaching 10,400 throughout implementation. FSAPP has equipped 316 hectares with new irrigation and drainage services, provided 1,207 people with improved nutrition services and products, and supported 89 producer-based organizations. The project has completed its planned four major irrigation schemes and is in the process of constructing the distribution networks for each of these schemes; through these major schemes, the project has reached 505 acres with flood irrigation against an end of project target of 1,346 acres. The project also has exceeded its target for area covered with micro-irrigation, reaching 277 acres against an end of project target of 250 acres. In total, the project has provided 608 users with new or improved irrigation services against an end of project target of 4,065. Further, FSAPP has exceeded its targets in providing groups with market infrastructure and market information. To date, it has provided market infrastructure and productive goods to 49 groups. Five major farmer sales outlets are being constructed, one for each district. And, the project has provided 30 farmer groups with market information, reaching the end of project target.