Bhutan is an amazing little country that has banned cigarettes and measures its success not through the backwards-looking GDP but by Gross National Happiness. In another step to be the one of the friendliest to the environment, the Asian nation has now pledged to produce and consume only organic food!
“We have developed a strategy that is step-by-step. We cannot go organic overnight,” Gyamtsho said, describing a policy and roadmap which were formally adopted by the government last year.
“We have identified crops for which we can go organic immediately and certain crops for which we will have to phase out the use of chemicals, for rice in certain valleys for example.”
Bhutan’s only competitor for the first “100 percent organic” title is the tiny self-governing island of Niue in the South Pacific, which has a population of only 1,300. It aims to reach its objective by 2015-2020.
Nadia Scialabba, a global specialist on organic farming at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, says the organic food market and its premium prices are attractive for small countries and territories.
“This is happening in very small countries who are not competitive on quantity, but they would like to be competitive in quality,” she told AFP.
The global organics market was estimated to be worth 44.5 billion euros (57 billion dollars) in 2010, according to figures from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements.