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Agro Tourism in Bhutan

The roots of Bhutanese economy still remain in natural resources with agriculture and animal husbandry occupying the majority of the work force. Its fertile valleys, rushing rivers and streams, abundant rainfall and vast forests have made Bhutan almost completely self-sufficient in agricultural products and developed it as an agrarian society.

agro tourism Bhutan

There is probably no country of Bhutan’s size which contains within its borders a greater spectrum of agricultural and climatic conditions. Here rice grows at altitude as high as 2,400m, subtropical fruits trees flourish within sight of the perpetual snows of the Great Himalaya, animal graze in lush pastoral valleys at the foot of barren, rocky mountains. It is a fascinating, often startling panorama.   

Rice, maize, wheat, buckwheat, barley, potatoes and cardamom are the chief crops while soil and climate in the valleys make them well suited to horticulture. In the south citrus fruits thrive and also the tropical varieties – pineapples, bananas, litchis, mangoes and guavas. In the central highlands are found apples, walnuts, peaches, plums, apricot and almonds. Dairy animals also play an important role in the rural economy.

More than two-thirds of Bhutan is covered with valuable forest. At lower altitude Sal is plentiful, in the central belt the hills are cloaked with oak which gives way in the higher reaches to conifers, pine, fir, spruce and larch.

While urban settlements have sprung up with development of road infrastructure but still most of Bhutan’s people continue to live in beautiful, charming villages on riverbanks or gently sloping hills, overlooking a patchwork of terraced fields and pasture land. Importantly, Bhutan is destined to become 100% organic nation and though this target initially set for 2020 is slightly delayed but country is marching ahead on this path. The network of village home stays has recently come up in different parts of the country, providing simple yet clean accommodation facilities for visitors but with myriad of activities such as village tours, nature walks / hikes, farm work, hot stone bath, cultural program, local sports, birding, mountain biking, yak / horse riding, experiencing village customs, cuisine & way of life,  learning traditional crafts and all these add up to make Bhutan a unique & exclusive agro-tourism destination. My Gakidh Village (MGV) is another initiative in this direction provides an interesting opportunity for visitors to experience Bhutanese rural life and explore serene, pristine villages through community-based eco-tourism initiatives and programs.

 





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