Dr. Vinod Bhatt additional Director of Navdanya was on his tour to Bhutan for followup and monitoring of the progress of the Samdrup Jonkhar Initiative (SJI) of Bhutan for 100 % transition of Bhutan to Organic.

It was nice and productive trip of Dr. Bhatt to Bhutan. During this visit Dr. Bhatt not only helped SJI to create the structure but also guided their research and monitoring team and also helped SJI in making future plan and strategy. SJI has a new programme Director Mr. Tchewang, who is young energetic and committed towards the organic. Dr. Bhatt visited the farmers who recently shifted to organic and suggested them amendment in their farming practices. Other than this Dr. Bhatt also gave training to the Master trainers of SJI and students of Deothang Polytechnic. he also gave one day training to the farmers in Wooling village.

Dr. Bhatt also met the Dist. Agriculture Officer of Samdrup Jhonkhar District. DAO of the district was quite positive. He also revealed that Government of Bhutan recently started seed banks where they would need Navdanya's help. Dr. Bhatt also gave him few suggestions for improvement. DAO was very excited of collaborative work of Navdanya, SJI and local government in future.

 After the discussions SJI agreed to start creating 2 model villages, 60 model farmers in 4 blocks. SJI will have 4 coordinators 1 for each block and 3 master trainers those were trained by Navdanya in Dehradun early this year and also trained by Dr. Bhatt during his current visit. SJI also showed its interest in sending one Govt. Official and 2 of its field staff for training to Navdanya's Biodiversity Conservation Farm in Dehradun soon. They want Mr. Negi, Master trainer of Navdanya for followup training in April and then to visit Dr. Bhatt to meet their officials in Thimpu next year and then would like Dr. Shiva meeting PM of Bhutan. SJI have decided to start organic garden and a seed bank soon at Shedra (College) in Deothang.

 Dr. Bhatt recent visit to Bhutan was part of Navdanya's commitment toward helping it in 100% conversion to organic.

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About Navdanya

Navdanya means “nine seeds” (symbolizing protection of biological and cultural diversity) and also the “new gift” (for seed as commons, based on the right to save and share seeds In today’s context of biological and ecological destruction, seed savers are the true givers of seed. This gift or “dana” of Navadhanyas (nine seeds) is the ultimate gift – it is a gift of life, of heritage and continuity. Conserving seed is conserving biodiversity, conserving knowledge of the seed and its utilization, conserving culture, conserving sustainability.

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