Bhutan wants to be the world’s first 100 percent organic country
If Bhutan were a person, it would be that friend who somehow manages to eat only superfoods, go to yoga at least three times a week, and still be totally fun to hang out with. Best known for its Gross National Happiness model (on which it scores quite high), the tiny Himalayan country now says it wants also to be the first nation to go 100 percent organic.
That means, according to the AFP, that the country will “phase out artificial chemicals in farming in the next 10 years, making its staple foods of wheat and potatoes, as well as its fruits, 100 percent organic.” The policy will only apply to food grown in the country, and NPR reports that Bhutan imports some of its rice from India, so in theory some Bhutanese people could still be eating rice coated with chemicals. But it’s still a pretty lofty goal.
To be fair, Bhutan’s already most of the way there. Without particularly speedy roads, most farmers don’t have easy access to chemical fertilizers and don’t bother using them.
One of the oft-mentioned objections to organic farming, though, is that it’ll require more land than conventional techniques, and Bhutan doesn’t have much to spare, according to AFP:
Overwhelmingly forested, no more than three percent of the country’s land area is used for growing crops, says Gyamtsho, with the majority of farmers already organic and reliant on rotting leaves or compost as a natural fertiliser.
So it remains to be seen whether Bhutan can pull this off, but we’re betting they’ll be happy about it either way.