Bhutan, the first organic country

Bhutan, the first organic country

How many times have we read, heard, or even said ourselves: "it is useless to criticize and preach, it is much better to roll up your sleeves and start changing things".

Here's what the authorities must have thought Bhutan, a small constitutional monarchy, unique in its own way. The young ruler, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, defined as the Dragon King, is a thirty-six year old graduate of Oxford after studying in the United States, therefore an open mind to the Western world but hopelessly in love with his own people.

Despite being close to the Himalayas, the state of Bhutan has a rather varied climate, where severe winters on the peaks of snow-capped mountains meet the monsoons coming from the south, rich in temperate rain.

Varieties of altitudes plays an important factor in this diversity e each valley represents a unique microclimate, often suitable for agriculture.


The good politics of Bhutan

Local politicians, authors of the famous Gross national happinesshave been campaigning for years to create ato economic policy that has as its goal the happiness of people, based on spiritual values: good governance, sustainability, preservation of cultural values, protection of nature.

This last point has inspired a movement that, in a decade or so, will bring Bhutan to it eradicate all chemical fertilizers from its territory and pesticides that in the long run degrade the soil, the social fabric, and therefore people's happiness: what is the purpose of having television, cell phones, luxury cars if the world around you dies and you have to buy poor food from other nations?

Lush nature = healthy food = happiness = true wealth, the equation is simple.

Bhutan is a place that is not easily penetrable, not only physically: it has recently opened up to the Western world, to globalization, to preserve as much as possible the spiritual and national values ​​that have been more or less lost in neighboring nations once they opened to the world. Capitalist and consumerist West.

Even simple tourists find it hard to visit Bhutan: it is necessary pay $ 200 a day regardless and you can only go around its territory accompanied by official tours.

Problems of the same nature have made life difficult even for foreign multinationals, given that in Bhutan the first concern still seems to be the well-being and happiness of its inhabitants.


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Invest in happiness, invest in organic

Currently the local agricultural production appears to be organic in a percentage that is around 75%.

Both the ruling party and the opposition have invested ineducation of farmers, inviting masters of permaculture and organic agriculture in general, from all over the world, to Bhutan, creating opportunities for applied research and exchange of information of the highest quality.

Long-term damage to health and soil from chemicals has never been hidden or minimized, and farmers are aware of the truth of the effects. Years ago, the farmers themselves got excited after experimenting with agriculture with chemicals, but in the long run the negative aspects took over, so the conscientious local politicians decided to intervene in time by reversing the bad trend.

And it should not be forgotten that agriculture is of capital importance for the economy of Bhutan, being the most important productive sector, which produces the 40% of the wealth and involves 80% of the national population.

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements supports this project of the government of Bhutan, considering it only the tip of the iceberg of a great world change, at the moment still potential, but certainly indispensable.

Local politicians were more than clear in 2013 and their intentions are unequivocal: Bhutan will be the first 100% organic country in the world, and if this is possible there, where pears, apples, oranges, spices, vegetables of all kinds, teas, berries and an infinity of medicinal herbs grow healthy and luxuriant, it should not be difficult for the rest of the world, especially for we and the townspeople blessed with the good fortune of living in an area where nothing is missing and everything would grow easily.

What is needed is to understand that, by inverting the above equation, true wealth is the fality of the people who make up a nation, and this cannot ignore food quality and the health of the earth on which we live.


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To learn more:

> The legislation on organic farming



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