Bhutan’s rice import remains stable

Bhutan's rice import is stable this year.
Bhutan’s rice import is stable this year.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has forecasted that Bhutan’s rice import in the previous fiscal year 2014-15 at around 58,000 tons. This is similar to the quantity of rice Bhutan imported in the previous year due to increased rice production.

The FAO estimates below average import of wheat as well. Bhutan’s rice production is estimated to be around 90,000 tons this fiscal year, up by 2 percent from around 88,000 tons produced in the previous year due to an estimated expansion in area planted and assuming favourable weather conditions during the growing season.

Earlier this year Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) had mentioned the import of rice has increased in the recent years.

Bhutan’s dependency on imported rice has increased over the years as agriculture becomes a weaker contributor to the national economy – from 44 percent in fourth plan to 2.3 percent in 11th plan.

The current fiscal year is likely to see drop in the rice production due to unfavourable weather conditions in many parts of the country. Farmers have reported that large part of their farm are still barren without rain and water for irrigation.

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