A Graduate Farmers’ Dialogue been Conducted.
With 22 University Graduate Farmers of the six Eastern Dzongkhags (Mongar, Lhuentse, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Pemagatshel and Samdrupjongkhar) who have ventured into various Livestock and Agriculture farming, the Hon’ble Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Lyoenpo Yeshey Dorji honored a historic day long ‘Graduate Farmers’ Dialogue’ on 6th March, 2017 at Lingmethang.
The event which was funded by CARLEP was basically to discuss and find out how best the government can support and facilitate the engagement of ‘Youths in Agriculture’ based on the experiences and challenges faced by the existing Youth Farmers.
The objectives of the event were to:
- To bring together Graduate Farmers to share their learning experiences and challenges facing the youth entrepreneurs in Agriculture farming;
- To compile business profile of these graduate farmers and learn more of their future business; and
- To identify possible support needs of Youth Entrepreneurs from Government and other business service providers.
In the address by the Hon’ble Lyonpo, such type of forum where the Graduate Farmers are brought together is first of its kind in the history of Bhutan, making these 22 farmers a first batch of a recognizable Graduate Farmers.
Lyoenpo said that Agricultural sector is not a closed-door subject but it’s an open ended field which has limitless scopes and opportunities. However, one must be coherent to take up the farming as a business, as a profession and as a career.
Along with these, Lyoenpo shared some of the insightful and innovative ideas where these Graduate Farmers can play the role like being a sole marketing agent, distributing agent, input-supplying agent etc, bridging the marketing gap between the farmers/producers with the consumers.
In line, the Programme Director of ARDC and CARLEP shared some of the innovative ideas of focusing more on Agro-processing, post-harvesting and product diversifying, considering the 4P’s (Product, Place, People and Promtion/Price) as emphasized by the Marketing Specialist of RAMCO, Mr. Dorji Rinchen.
The REDCL Fund Councilor of Mongar Dzongkhag presented on the ‘Credit Opportunities for young Entrepreneurs’, to inform the Graduate Farmers’ on the availability of the credit services. REDCL which was launched on 21st May, 2016 offering the Revolving Fund II with the fund ceiling up to 5 lakhs with an interest rate of 4%.
Such type of event has created a platform for sharing challenges, opportunities, RNR support information, exchanging business ideas and creating proper network among entrepreneurs and RNR Officials.
The event was attended by 62 participants in total; the sector heads (DLO and DAO) and REDCL focal person of the six Eastern Dzongkhags, representatives from ARDC, RLDC, RAMCO, CARLEP team, the Agriculture Extension Officer of Mongar Dzongkhag and the representative from FMCL.
Following, on 7th March, the Graduates Farmers are having the honor of receiving the audience from His Highness, the Gyelthab Jigme Dorji Wangchuk.
-Compiled at KM section, OPM