Both moves are in line with the four pillars of Gross National Happiness: good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation. That does not mean the changes will be without opposition.
Many farmers in Bhutan have adopted adopted industrial practices. When the Bhutan Observer examined records of the National Soil Services Centre, it found that in 2007 farmers were applying 7.9 kg of chemical fertilizers per hectare. A year later that had climbed to 26 kg per hectare. In addition, mechanized farming and pesticides have increased yields and replaced farm workers, while urbanization has reduced available farmland. The same thing has happened in the poultry sector, where increased industrialization has led to large-scale operations where egg-laying poultry are confined.
Still, both moves make important statements about the nation’s commitment to living up to the tenets of Gross National Happiness. As Andre Leu, president of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements and Australian adviser to the Bhutanese government told National Public Radio:
All these problems are solvable, they just need a few more years of research to come up with some more effective solutions.
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