Posted on October 24, 2012 by lucas2012infos | Leave a comment
Heaven on earth? This country wants to cover its land with organic farms.
24th October 2012
By Emily Mann - rodale.com
The lush green valleys of Bhutan could all be converted to organic farms, if the Prime Minister gets his way.
The tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan serves as home to just 738,000
people—about the population of Alaska. But this tiny landlocked nation
is on track to make one of the biggest pro-organic moves in the world.
At the June 2012 Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, the
kingdom’s prime minister, Jigmi Thinley, announced plans to convert all
his nation’s agricultural land to organic farms with, he said in his
speech, “the ‘raised in Bhutan’ label synonymous with ‘organically grown.’”
The country is already well on its way to organic: Two thirds of
Bhutanese citizens are farmers, and many of them are organic by default,
unable to afford the synthetic fertilizers and pesticides required in chemical farming.
Very few of the farms are actually certified as organic, but the
country has sent a number of farmers to India to study at food activist
Vanadana Shiva’s organic training farm, and has asked consultants from
Shiva’s farm to educate its local extension specialists so they, in
turn, are better prepared to help farmers convert to organic.
Greater profits and self-sufficiency are two of the major driving
forces behind the move, Thinley added in his address. Bhutan currently
imports more food than it can produce, which means farmers are losing
out on a valuable revenue stream. And neighboring India is experiencing
“exponential growth” in demand for organic food, a demand, he said, that isn’t likely to taper off anytime soon.
Then there’s the issue of clean water. A third of Bhutan’s citizens
get their water from rural sources, which can easily become polluted by
chemical fertilizers, and 6 in 10 children living in rural areas do
suffer from health problems that can be traced back to polluted,
But the move to convert all Bhutan’s farms to organic is driven as
much by those factors as it is by a desire to achieve “Gross National
Happiness,” a term Bhutan’s fourth king coined three decades ago as a
more important measure of success than gross national product. “The main
reason why we would like to motivate rural living is because we are
convinced that it is on the farm that people can find happiness amid
vital communities boosted by the necessity of interdependence, active
spiritual life, and daily communion with nature and other living beings,” he said.
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Thanks to: http://lucas2012infos.wordpress.com