At a glance
The Royal Government of Bhutan is successfully implementing the 11th Five Year Plan (FYP) for 2013-2018 which defines specific policies for the so called Renewable Natural Resources (RNR) sector. The sector comprises agriculture, i.e. crop production, livestock and forestry management.
The sector is characterised by low competitiveness of the production which results in a high volume of imports. Due to its geography and economic base, Bhutan is vulnerable to climate change which in particular affects the RNR sector. More irregular and higher rainfalls and drier winters are predicted as results of climate change. In addition, threats are often posed by floods including the Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF).
The overall objectives of the Bhutan 11th five year plan in the RNR sector are: (i) enhanced food and nutrition security; ii) accelerated growth of the RNR sector; iii) enhanced sustainable rural livelihoods, and iv) improved sustainable management of natural resources. The specific challenges of climate change are defined in the Sector Adaptation Plan of Action and the National Adaptation Plan of Action both of which are coherent with the sector FYP.
The reforms presented in the 11th FYP require a long-term strategy and fiscal space to be extended and ensured for the subsequent FYP. Sector reforms include improving public service delivery at the local level and achieve results such as more effective and efficient extension services, mechanisation centres, marketing support, improved planting material, improved breeding stock, investments in irrigation facilities, renewable energy technologies such as small biogas facilities and other climate change resilient technologies as well as better risk reduction management mainstreaming into the 11th FYP and 12th FYP.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is implementing the sector policy in cooperation with the local governments. Development partners such as World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency and International Fund for Agriculture Development provide technical and financial support. The EU has supported the renewable natural resources sector in Bhutan extensively in the past. An EU sector budget support program supporting the RNR sector has recently been completed in mid-2015. The EU considers the sector a priority under the multi-annual indicative programme 2014-2020.