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Million Fruit Tree Plantation(MFTP)
The Million Fruit Trees Plantation (MFTP) project comprising 22 varieties of high value fruit trees spanning across 20 Dzongkhags is currently undertaken by De-suups with technical support from MoAF. Temperate plantation comprising of 12 varieties commenced from 15 March with the field works executed by 1388 De-suups and farm owners in 20 Dzongkhags where 376,678 seedlings has been planted as on. The plantation of 5000 Chemshing seedlings (Zizyphus bhudhensis) is the Royal Initiative of MFTP which is currently underway in 7 Dzongkhags namely Punakha, Tsirang, Dagana, Lhuentse, Trashiyangtse, Mongar and Trashigang.
The subtropical plantation is expected to deploy about 1900 De-suups over a period of one month starting from 25 April 2022. The subtropical seedlings comprising of 10 varieties will be planted in 18 Dzongkhags to achieve the overall target of one million.
Million Fruit Trees Plantation Project
The Million Fruit Trees Plantation (MFTP) project is currently running into the second year, and DeSuung National Service in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock completed planting 1,010,100 fruit plants from 5th February 2023 to 31 March 2023 for temperate region and 22 May 2023 to 31 August 2023 for subtropical region. Plantation for this year was flagged off from Guma Gewog, Punakha Dzongkhag, coinciding with the Birth Anniversary of HRH Gyalsey on 5th February by planting 7 almond seedlings.
MFTP is a Royal Initiative of our beloved Druk Gyalpo and Fruit trees are granted as Royal Soelra to the farmers across the country with the vision of enhancing income and uplifting rural livelihood by creating employment opportunities in the fruit sector. The project also provides exposure to young DeSuups in understanding and experiencing rural livelihood and reciprocate our farmers. Fruit types and numbers distributed are based on the location, suitability, and market potential. Unlike in the first year which distributed 22 varieties for plantation and distribution to farmers, the second year project prioritized 11 varieties of high value crops namely almond, kiwi, pecan nut and walnut in temperate region and avocado, dragon fruit, soursop, seedless lime, macadamia nut and mandarin for subtropical region. Further, agarwood and coconut seedlings were also planted in subtropical region as part of the second year project.
Fieldworks were executed by DeSuups with technical support provided by Agriculture Extension Services from 20 Dzongkhags and closely monitored by a team from Thimphu (DeSuups and Agriculture) and Dzongkhag Co-ordinators. In the first year from 15 March to 11 June, a total of 2118 DeSuups were engaged for plantation, and in the second year 822 De-Suups for temperate region (February-March) and 1,285 DeSuups for sub-tropical region (May 22-July). The project as a part of DeSuung Skilling initiative also imparted 5 days training on horticulture management and geocodings to 234 DeSuups in first year and 175 DeSuups in second year, and the DeSuups are deployed in each Gewog after completing the training to assist other DeSuups during the plantation. Deployment is decentralized to Dzongkhag DeSuung Offices with the main aim to engage local DeSuups as far as possible from the same locality for close affinity with communities as well as to reduce operation cost which otherwise entails extra cost on transportation and meal expenses for DeSuups in transit.
Result for two years are summarized below:
Year 2022: Plantation achieved 1,019,785 fruit plants (409,401 seedlings in temperate region and 605,384 seedlings in subtropical region). Households benefitted: 46,478 in temperate region and 43,605 in subtropical region inclusive of Schools, Dratshangs, and Government Institutes (Fig 1).
Year 2023: Plantations achieved 1010,100 fruit plants (259,369 seedlings in temperate region and 750,731seedlings in subtropical region). Households benefitted: 22,138 in temperate region and 26,464 in subtropical region (Fig 2).
Mortality survey of non survived plants from first year were conducted from September to October in the same year by deploying 422 De-suups in 20 Dzongkhags (Fig.3), and replacement were carried out simultaneously with the new plantation in second year resulting in replacement plantation of 169,800 fruit seedlings in temperate region and 171,707 fruit seedlings in sub-tropical region. Mortality survey of non survived plants for second year is expected to be carried out in October 2023.