Bhutan slipping off rice sufficiency

Bhutan’s rice self-sufficiency ratio has rapidly declined in the last six years despite government initiatives to improve the situation. From 47 percent in 2018, the country’s rice self-sufficiency rate dropped to 25.5 percent in the 2022-2023 fiscal year. 

The country imported close to 90,000 tonnes of rice last year while farmers across the country produced around 30,000 tonnes. The primary concern is the alarming decrease in paddy cultivation, which is reportedly decreasing by hundreds of acres every year. Farmers are moving to other crops that give better economic yields.

The country has only 2.7 percent of its land suitable for rice cultivation.

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