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.
The Food Security and Agriculture Productivity (FSAPP) aims to increase agricultural productivity and enhance market linkages in selected rural districts in south-west Bhutan. It supports the government's efforts to reduce rural poverty and high levels of malnutrition through climate-smart agricultural productivity enhancement for food and nutrition security and to increase farmers’ access to local and export markets. The project seeks to address inter-connected problems faced by farmers and rural households through a set of integrated, consolidated, area-specific interventions that respond to local constraints, potentials, and priorities. For this, the project will support productivity enhancement of food crops—such as rice, maize, potato, vegetables, pulses, and possibly quinoa—and high-value crops—spices (especially large cardamom and ginger), vegetables, citrus, apples, and potatoes for improved food security and nutrition, along with market access enhancement of key high-value crops. Key activities include strengthening producer groups, irrigation development including on-farm sprinkler and drip systems, provision of improved agri-inputs and farm equipment, and support to homegrown school feeding programs. The project was launched in September 2017. It will benefit approximately 52,000 people, including 3,000 schoolchildren in 16 schools through support to the school feeding program.
Project StatusUnder Preperation
- Climate Change
Supervising entityWorld Bank
Official Project Documents: