There were, all in all, seven eminent keynote speakers from various countries with diverse professional backgrounds, almost all of whom emphasized that although Bhutan by default is organic in its farming system, it can be by design too and can put it into mainstream so that it is not merely a niche market. By the latter term, it means that organic farming which currently is mostly traditional in practice; aspects of science should also be integrated. By doing this, the objective of organic agriculture for all, i.e. getting rid of price monopoly by the few can be taken care of by scaling up the production with the aid of science and technology.
As always, however may the speakers be eloquent and articulated in their discourses, there were a few skeptics or critics, who think it is mere philosophy than real, in that the organic farming being input intensive and output inadequate cannot fit into the equation of current economic paradigm whereby organic farming is not an agriculture for people from all walks of life. For instance, in Bhutan, only a handful of people are able to purchase domestic products, when the rest rely on imported products from India, the people of lower income in particular.
The training on the geo-assessment of socioeconomic vulnerability due to climate change was conducted at the College of Natural Resources (CNR), Royal University of Bhutan in collaboration with the Department of Z-GIS, Geo-informatics, Salzburg University, Austria funded by the UNINET for Asia and South Asia from 11th to 15th February 2014. The training was aimed for capacity building of faculty of RUB and other academic institutions in the region in applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) using spatial data in terms of assessing socio-economic vulnerability in the event of climate change and recommendation of adaptation measures in such events.
The participants consisted of 7 faculty members from Nepal, 4 from CNR and 4 final Geography honors students from the Sherubtse College.The training emphasized on the scenario modeling -“What If…?”on climatic parameters, such as temperature and rainfall in particular. At the end of the training the participants exhibited their knowledge and skills learnt during the training by carrying out a project and presenting it to the panel.
On 21st July 2013, the Bhutan Ecological Society held its first Annual Environment Fair and Research Symposium by inviting all the university students to present their research abstracts and exhibit research posters. Among seven exhibitors, Mr. Dorji, B.Sc. Horticulture, second cohort graduate of CNR was declared the winner with a prestigious poster award including a cash prize of Nu. 7500 on the exhibition titled “Evaluation of different Substrates for Cultivation Oyster Mushroom”. He currently works in the National Mushroom Centre, Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forest. On this happy occasion, the Management, Faculty and Students of the college would like to congratulate and wish him all the best in his similar future endeavors.