Crossbreeding and Gross National Happiness of Bhutanese farmers

PhD defence

Crossbreeding and Gross National Happiness of Bhutanese farmers

PhD candidate mr. dr T (Tashi) Samdup
Promotor IJM (Imke) de Boer
Co-promotor dr ir HMJ Udo
Organisation Wageningen University, Animal Production Systems

Wed 16 May 2018 13:30 to 15:00

Venue Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen


Bhutan has embarked on the gross national happiness (GNH) development concept. However, its operationalisation still needs more focus on the issues of the smallholder farmers which comprise about 69% of the Bhutanese population.

Amongst the various agricultural interventions, Bhutan aims to intensify livestock production through crossbreeding not only to improve livelihoods but also to sustainably use natural resources.

This thesis presents a methodological framework to identify GNH issues and indicators at the smallholder farm level in four different agro-ecological areas over three temporal dimensions in 2000, 2004 and 2015. It discusses the impact of crossbreeding at farm level through an empirical and integral assessment. The study reveals that crossbreeding has contributed to the higher farm gross margins and reduces grazing pressure on common property resources. In areas with suitable market conditions, farmers will continue with crossbreeding for dairying, as it is a regular and reliable income source. Therefore crossbreeding attunes to the GNH development concept.