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Tuesday, 16 July 2024

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Motion (4P1S/M2): Establishment of Crop and Livestock Compensation Trust Fund

Motion (4P1S/M2): Establishment of Crop and Livestock Compensation Trust Fund

The Member from Kilkhorthang - Mendrelgang constituency moved the motion to establish a Crop and Livestock Compensation Trust Fund to the House today. The Member presented that with 60% of the population living in rural areas, the Agriculture Sector has become the backbone of livelihood and economy of the country with 14.5% GDP contribution in 2022. 

The Member emphasized that despite Bhutan's farming communities being carbon negative, they are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of global climate change and natural disasters. Currently, there is no compensation scheme such as crop and livestock insurance policies or compensation trust funds to assist affected communities during these crises, often forcing farmers to seek alternative sources of income.

While the members expressed their support for the motion, the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock informed the House that the government had developed an insurance scheme to be presented to the Parliament, and substantial funds have been allocated to the agriculture and livestock sectors in the 13th Five-Year Plan (FYP). Lyonpo acknowledged the need to support farmers but expressed concerns over the budgetary implications, stating that the proposed costs exceed current allocations.

The Finance Minister pointed out the economic challenges, including a significant fiscal deficit and public debt, underscoring the need for prudent financial management.

Despite these considerations, some Members submitted the urgency of establishing the Compensation Trust Fund to support farming communities and youth dependent on agriculture. They also proposed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock include highland livestock in the compensation categories and suggested adjusting the funding ratio to alleviate the burden on the public.

The House adopted the motion with 34 members voting for the motion, 1 Abstain, and 8 members voting "No", out of 46 members present and voting. The House directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to submit its implementation report in the next session.