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Agriculture is the main occupation of the people and rice is the most important crop. Wheat/buckwheat cultivation has recently been introduced in cooler areas like the Paro, Thimbu and Punakha Valleys and is slowly increasing. The landholdings generally vary from 2 to 4 ha and are limited to 12 ha by the land laws of Bhutan. While irrigation is confined to only 10 percent of the total area under cultivation, it is likely to increase to 16 percent by the end of the Fourth Plan. Land data of 1973 shows 20 000 ha are under rice cultivation, annually producing 21 000 tons of rice and accounting for 90 percent in the districts of Paro, Thimbu, Wangdi Phodrang, Punakha, Tashigong, Tongsa, Phuntsholing and Sarbhang. Many other crops are also grown. Important ones are maize (38 000 t), wheat/buckwheat (22 000 t), barley (7 000 t), potatoes (74 000 t) and millet (4 000 t).

Many of the farmers raise cattle or hogs. The cattle and hog population is 100 000 and 50 000 respectively. Besides this, there are some 52 000 yaks in the country.

Out of 4.5 million ha of land in the country, only 12 percent is cultivable and agriculture has been established in 1.8 percent.

From the foregoing, it appears that about 7 200 km of rivers, 590 lakes with a surface area of about 4 250 ha, 20 000 ha of paddy fields, numerous springs and areas of land near them, together with many by-products of agriculture and animal husbandry, could be partially utilized for the development of fisheries in Bhutan.

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