Skip to main content

Farmers' Gateway to Information



On March 25, 2016, READ Bhutan inaugurated its first community radio in Pema Gatshel Dzongkhag. KYD (Khotakpa Yalang and Denchi) Community Radio 91.1FM can be heard in some 9 villages. KYD unofficially also stands for Khotakpa Youth Development! (Shh... that's what I made up.) 

The community radio was established with funding from Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) Bhutan and in partnership with Ministry of Information and Communications.

Speaking at the launch, Lyonpo D.N Dhungyel said that the community radio will provide an excellent platform for people to participate in social discourse. “The Community Radio will provide opportunities for people to discuss social issues,” he said. “It will also provide an enhanced access to educational information and resources.”

The Minister urged the people to use the station meaningfully to benefit the community fully. 
The Country Director of READ Bhutan, Ms. Karma Lhazom said that the main objective of setting up a community radio is to inform rural farmers. “The Community Radio will promote civic participation, enhance education, provide access to useful information and build an informed community,” she said. “It will also increase local awareness on democratic values and principles and connect the far flung villages of Pema Gatshel valley, which are otherwise fairly isolated from each other.”
The Country representative of SDC Bhutan Mr. Mathias Meier said that concept of community radio is “a radio of the people, for the people and by the people” and that, he said, “is the real essence of democracy.”
Villagers are really excited. 41-year-old, Khotakpa Tshogpa, Bopo Drukpa said that the community radio will bring about immense benefit. “The radio station will both inform and entertain us,” he said. “My work as a tshogpa will become much easier now as we would be able to use radio to inform people about various meetings and disseminate other important messages immediately; I am really happy.”
Namgay Wangdi, 37, another villager said the community will reap a lot of benefits from the newly established community radio. “Ours is a very remote village. I see the radio airing important agriculture and health-related information. Because it is coming from a local and our own station it will be helpful to us.”
Situated in Southeast Bhutan, Khotakpa is a remote farming community cultivating maize, rice and oranges. READ Bhutan opened a READ Center in the community in March 2014 in partnership with Druk Satair Corporation. 

Comments

  1. Communication is a very important tool to reach everyone and I sincerely hope this radio airing will bring all the updated news, good sharing and information to everyone in the rural areas.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

So what do you think?

Popular posts from this blog

Bloggers are not journalists

To say bloggers are not journalists is to say oranges are not carrots. Bloggers are not journalists. That’s true. But can bloggers become journalists? Maybe. Can journalists be bloggers? Yes. In fact, it would be only proper and appropriate for journalists to blog their opinions as opposed to being 'politically' correct all the time. So why call oranges carrots when they are what they are?
Well, it is true – bloggers have no training in journalism. That’s why they are bloggers. And for the same reason they are  not journalists. No bloggers have ever claimed what they blog can qualify as ‘journalism’.  We all do what we love the most and give our best in whatever we are doing either reporting news or blogging. 

Journalists do it as careers. Bloggers do it (mostly) for hobby and out of passion. Most journalists also do it with great passion - that's true. The journalists get paid for doing their jobs while bloggers derive pleasure doing it. Journalists cover (report) stories eve…

Utpal Academy - Bhutan's first All-girls High School

Welcome to Bhutan’s first all-girls school. Isn’t that wonderful news to all our parents? Certainly, as a parent of a one-year old daughter I am excited about the coming of a school exclusively dedicated to the needs of girls. Our girls need special treatment, which we can for sure entrust the responsibility to Utal Academy, Paro.
I really like the name – Utpal – in Buddhist world, Utpal is another name for lotus flower, which is believed to grow from mud and yet blossoms into a beautiful and majestic flower. It stands for purity and many deities are depicted holding flower Utpal, more prominently Jestusn Dolma, the Goddess Tara. Symbolically, it also stands for the transformation of our girls. What an apt name for the school!
The Principal’s message posted on the academy’s website promises providing our young women an “opportunity to participate fully in a wide range of extracurricular activities to develop skills and qualities that will lead to successful and fulfilling life.” That’s…

Growing and feeding ourselves

Reports show that about 58% of Bhutanese are involved in agriculture, but the sector contributes only about 14% to our Gross Domestic Product. According to Bhutan Trade Statistics, 2017, Bhutan imports vegetables worth Nu. 3,823,879,525 (US$ 58,828,916) and rice worth Nu. 1,979,747,923 (US$ 30,457,660). Isn't that a lot to chew? We are not even talking of other food items here. 









That means people who are into agricultural activities are unable to feed the rest of us. That also goes to show how less we are growing on our farms and talks a lot about our fallow fields in rural areas. Now, if the remaining 42% of Bhutanese, who grow nothing on our own, can consume food items worth that much, we certainly have big market here for our agricultural produces. Don't you think? How do we do that? 


I think it's possible, at least to reduce our food imports. The key is to make farming sexier. Let's not leave it out to the rural farmers. In the recent years, we have seen young people…