The SGP Bhutan Country Programme has recently produced this new video on the COMDEKS supported activities enhancing resilience in Thongrong village in the Gamri Watershed. The video provides an overview of main challenges, project activities, and key results achieved through the project “Increasing productivity and rural income through Sustainable Agriculture Landscape Management, Phongmey”, implemented by the CBO Thongrong Sazhing Tshogpa, with technical support of the National Soil Service Center.
Agriculture and livestock rearing are the main sources of income in Thongrong village. However, the landscape is characterized by steep slopes, making it prone to soil erosion and loss of soil fertility. By losing fertile topsoil through runoff rainwater during monsoon and heavy winds during the dry season, agricultural yields have declined over the years, severely impacting the food security of the Thongrong community.
Through the COMDEKS-supported initiative, more than 70 acres of land have been brought under sustainable land management practices, including the planting of Napier grass and fruit trees, as well as construction of hedgerows on steep slopes to prevent erosion of topsoil. The Napier grass serves a dual purpose of erosion prevention as well as livestock fodder, while fruit harvests provide additional income and nutrition for the community. Stone and bamboo dams along the stream have been built to lower the risk of flooding during the monsoon. To increase household incomes and improve food security of the local community, mustard cultivation and mustard oil production was introduced in Thongrong. Additionally, more than 4.5 km of solar fencing were installed to reduce human-wildlife conflict, which is expected to increase crop production by 50%. Through its activities, this project contributes to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 6, and 13 (Lower Poverty, Clean Water and Sanitation, and Climate Action respectively).
For additional information about the COMDEKS activities in Bhutan, see the case study presented in the publication “A Community-Based Approach to Resilient and Sustainable Landscapes – Lessons from Phase II of the COMDEKS Programme”, available here.
For direct access to the video page, click here.