WFP Bhutan Country Brief, August 2020

Situation Report
Originally published
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WFP’s ongoing support in the Agriculture monitoring and evaluating (M&E) systems aim at providing longterm support to Bhutan’s Economic Contingency Plan. WFP has also made progress in its efforts to make use of a menu optimizer tool (PLUS) to ensure dietary diversity in school meals. Furthermore, WFP made various advances in its partnership building initiatives by discussing cooperation with Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), engaging with Tarayana Foundation for its advocacy programme, and organizing a webinar with Association of Official Analytical Collaboration (AOAC) India section on analytical capacity strengthening.

Operational Updates

• In partnership with various divisions under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, WFP is supporting the strengthening of agriculture statistical and M&E systems. This will help address the short-term COVID-19 response and support the agriculture sector’s long-term efforts for increased production, market linkages, income, and job creation in line with Bhutan’s Economic Contingency Plan.

• WFP has planned to kickstart the implementation of the PLUS optimizer tool in the country, by using an updated version of the tool in schools in Trongsa. PLUS is a digital platform to optimize school menus in terms of nutrition, cost and use of local foods. WFP is currently assimilating data inputs such as commodities available, price, nutritional requirements, and food sources to design the optimized menu.

• WFP initiated the first-consultative meeting with the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) to exchange information on respective areas of work and identify broad areas of cooperation. The parties discussed on topics including logistics/supply chain, and capacity strengthening in various thematic areas, such as post-harvest management, marketing and export promotion, agri-technologies, production, and standardization among others. WFP also discussed the option of a digital collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), leveraging the existing memorandum of understanding between BCCI-CII and recent training programmes conducted by WFP in collaboration with CII Food & Agriculture Centre of Excellence.