Bhutan’s organic rice self-sufficiency goal
Bhutan has targeted becoming the world’s first country with an entirely organic agricultural production. As well as aligning with the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), achieving 100% organic agriculture would support Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) index by benefiting human health and improving ecological diversity.
The goal includes Bhutan’s most important cereal crop, rice, which accounts for around 22% of the country’s total crop production by value. Currently, Bhutan produces only about 47% of its domestic rice consumption, relying on imports for the rest. Given rice’s importance in the national diet, and supply vulnerabilities exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, Bhutan’s government has prioritized improving self-sufficiency in rice, with a 60% target.
This policy brief discusses how feebate policies could upscale organic agriculture and food self-sufficiency in Bhutan, specifically looking at rice production.
The simulations show that a feebate (fee and rebate) policy coupled with promotion and training in agroecological farming methods could incentivize widespread adoption of agroecology, achieving both 100 percent organic production and greater self-sufficiency for rice in Bhutan.