The Marketing Strategy for Renewable Natural Resources (RNR) 2021, developed by the Marketing and Agricultural Cooperatives Directorate (DAMC) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, aims to address recurring problems of agricultural marketing in the markets. domestic and export.
It is expected to create inclusive business opportunities in the context of market development and value chain management, support food security and economic development, increase job creation and assist in political decision-making.
The strategy identified four issues in the current marketing scenario.
“One of the issues is how the current production system triggers marketing problems,” said a DAMC official.
The official said agricultural production is not based on market demand but rather on targets and is driven by the feasibility of producing in this location.
Other issues highlighted were the limited added value of products and the difficulty in accessing reliable markets due to poor logistics and market information.
The official said post-harvest and value addition have not developed to meet market needs, resulting in the import of processed products that could be produced in the country.
In 2019, Bhutan imported food including grains, processed foods, dairy products, edible oil, meat, vegetables, fruits and spices worth 9.4 billion Nu (B).
“There is no one-stop-shop service for an RNR business,” the official said, adding that the various permissions and requirements of many agencies make it difficult to start an RNR business.
There are seven strategies developed in six thematic areas to help address current challenges.
The six thematic areas are the policy environment and institutions, the current production system, infrastructure and logistics for supply and value chain management, market research and information, current RNR marketing and development of RNR companies.
The strategy has action plans against current issues.
The first strategy is to promote a favorable policy environment and multisectoral coordination to support effective marketing of RNRs.
The action plans include establishing regional and dzongkhag RNR marketing institutions and exploring the possibility of establishing a statutory commodity-based marketing board for export promotion.
The official said that creating a marketing board increases bargaining power, mandate standards and quality.
The second strategy, aimed at promoting market-oriented commercial production, focuses on the inventory of food demand and supply in large urban centers in order to forecast annual needs for targeted production and to develop programs. market insurance and price guarantees.
The third strategy, which strengthens investments in market infrastructure development, would be to design agricultural product quality control systems, institute e-commerce platforms and strengthen existing commodity trading platforms. .
“The ability of farmers to effectively plan the production and marketing of RNR products and the trade of other rural products is limited in the absence of real-time market information,” the marketing strategy said. “It not only creates dependence on physical structures [Centenary Farmers’ Market, Sunday Markets] but encourages middlemen (buyers) to pay farmers less and reap maximum profit margin.
The strategy mentioned that limited information on export markets resulted in export dependency on a few buyers and limited reach in the international market.
Therefore, the fourth strategy focuses on establishing international trade links and improving the existing agricultural marketing information system to provide real-time information.
The fifth and sixth strategies focus on the development of domestic distribution systems to access national and international markets. The final strategy emphasizes the promotion of RNR companies for added value and product development.
RNR economic hubs and the development of real-time marketing applications are recognized as concepts under the recommended strategies.
“We are optimistic that the recurring agricultural marketing problems will be resolved to some extent if we implement these strategies in their entirety,” the official said.
The strategy is designed to provide advice and operational support until 2026.
Edited by Jigme Wangchuk