Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley of Bhutan
The Kingdom of Bhutan has rolled up as the most peaceful nation in South Asia according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI). This is the same nation who has been promoting Gross National Happiness, not Gross Domestic Product, as the instrument by which nations should measure progress. The Himalayan Kingdom is not stopping there: Bhutan has pledged to become the first country in the world to convert to a 100 percent organic agricultural system.
“We are convinced that it is on the farm that people can find happiness amid vital communities boosted by the necessity of interdependence, active spiritual life, and daily communion with nature and other living beings, says Bhutan's Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley.
Bhutan's 100 percent National Organic Policy was formally announced at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June (Rio+20). Letting it be known to the nearly 46,000 participants attending the Conference that the “raised in Bhutan” label would be synonymous with “organically grown”.
Bhutan's Ministry of Agriculture says the organic program, which was essentially started in 2007, "is not just about protecting the environment. It will also train farmers in new methods that will help them grow more food and move the country closer to self-sufficiency."
Toward this aim, the ministry is training extension workers in organic methods and giving farmers who go organic priority for government assistance," says Discovery's Treehugger.
The country has reportedly already sent a number of farmers to study in India with well-known food activist, Vandana Shiva, "who operates an organic training farm in India and emphasizes raising non-GMO crops. Consultants who work with Shiva are aiding the Bhutanese government in developing tools that will be used to educate the nation on how best to help the country’s farmers convert to- and maximize organic farming methods", says Organic Authority.
Bhutan is already ahead of most of the rest of the world, because about two-thirds of Bhutan's 738,000 citizens are farmers and some of their farms are already organic, certified or not, as they cannot afford to purchase synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, a blessing in disguise, keeping the crops natural, the environment clean and consumption healthy.
Discovery Bhutan Inc. describes the Kingdom as follows, "…perched high up on the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayan range…amidst monasteries, fluttering prayer flags, friendly people, pristine scenery, running streams, green valleys, lakes and awe inspiring architecture the traveler wakes up to a deep and pleasant realization that his inward journey has been as much valuable as his outward trip."
Peace, happiness, pristine scenery…. and 100 percent organic –sounds like a recipe for true paradise on earth.