Organic agriculture is the road to happiness in Bhutan

From Eliza Barclay, at National Public Radio:

“The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan drew international attention a few years back for saying gross national happiness should trump gross domestic product when measuring a nation’s progress. If you’re going to prioritize happiness, the Bhutanese thinking goes, you’d better include the environment and spiritual and mental well-being in your calculations. (Not everyone in Bhutan is happy, and many leave as refugees, as Human Rights Watch and others have noted.)

But Bhutan, which has only 700,000 people — most of whom are farmers — has another shot at international fame if it can make good on a recent pledge to become the first country in the world to convert to a 100 percent organic agricultural system.

Last month at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley said his government is developing a National Organic Policy because the country’s farmers are increasingly convinced that “by working in harmony with nature, they can help sustain the flow of nature’s bounties.”

Going all-out organic is a lofty goal for any country given that many farmers — and poor farmers in particular — covet chemical fertilizers and pesticides to enrich their soil, boost production and keep diseases and pests at bay.

But Andre Leu, an Australian adviser to the Bhutanese government and the president of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, says it’s very doable….”

Read more on NPR.

1 Comment

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One response to “Organic agriculture is the road to happiness in Bhutan

  1. BC Food Security

    Funny how tiny Iceland has got it right in terms of renewable energy and citizen democracy and forgiving bad loans of the little guys (as opposed to the big fish who created all the problems ) and tiny Bhutan has got it right in terms of life purpose , happiness and now organic agriculture. What does this tell us about any kind of institutions, whether governmental or corporate, that get too big and impersonal, losing touch with the ordinary folks , consumers and grassroots ? There is a saying that “bigger is better” but this would seem to fly in the face of that ? When dealing with human beings and other living beings it would seem that a small, local and personal approach is consistently superior .

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