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Going Organic in Bhutan

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It’s an ambitious goal, but Bhutan’s government thinks it’s possible: at the Rio 20+ climate conference, Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley announced that his country will become the first in the world to have a completely organic agricultural system. While in Rio, Thinley made a solid case for sustainable farming, pointing out that the earth loses 24 billion (yes, billion) tons of topsoil every year – and 30% of the world’s arable land is becoming unproductive because of erosion.

Thinley said his new “National Organic Policy” is especially important in Bhutan, where two-thirds of the population works in agriculture. “Humankind has the ability to feed everyone on earth healthily and sustainably,” he said. NPR took a look at the pros and cons of the debate and brought up an important issue: farmers that have depended on chemical fertilizers for years will probably not be happy to give them up so quickly. But experts say it is possible.

So will this tiny nation set a mammoth example for the rest of the world?

Photo Credit:
CC BY-SA 2.0: sprklg/


August 2, 2012



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