The conception of Agriculture Engineering Division took place in 1975 when the Irrigation Division was created under the Department of Agriculture. As the name indicates it was mainly responsible for providing technical assistance to farmers in repair and construction of irrigation schemes.  Besides this function the Division also provided technical services to other central agencies within the ministry in their infrastructure development.

The AED under the DoA comprises of three sections i.e The Building Section, Irrigation Section and Farm Roads and is further supported by two Central Programs Viz. Agriculture Machinery Centre (AMC), Paro and Central Machinery Unit (CMU), Bumthang. These two central programs work in close consultation with the Division.

FARM ROAD & LAND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Farm Roads Section

Terms of Reference

  • Overall management of the Section
  • Development of national policies, guidelines, standards and specifications for farm roads.
  • Long term planning for adoption/development of farm road construction techniques
  • Coordination, monitoring and supervision of farm road programmes
  • Review the performance of the central projects and Dzongkhag activities
  • Liaise with relevant agencies on matters related to farm road programmes/projects
  • Review and conduct farm road training requirement for the Section and the Dzongkhags
  • Any other official duties assigned to him from time to time by the management
  • Preparation of annual budget for the Section
  • Reviewing farm road survey, design, estimate and drawings forwarded by the Dzongkhags for issuance of Technical Sanction
  • Compilation of progress reports
  • Facilitation and development of project proposals for fund mobilization for farm road projects.
  • Outsourcing of very big construction activities to private consultants/ contractors, when it is beyond the capacity of the Section

IRRIGATION PROGRAM

Irrigation Section

Cultivated land in Bhutan is broadly categorized into two types: Kamzhing and Chhuzhing. Chhuzhing is a leveled, bunded terrace where summer paddy is grown as a main staple food crop. This Chhuzhing can be irrigated or rain fed depending upon the choice of crops and availability of water for irrigation.

Until recently, irrigation development in Bhutan was the result of the farmers own initiatives and investments in the construction, maintenance and management of the traditional irrigation systems through the use of local resources and knowledge. These systems are called community managed irrigation system (CMIS). Over 1200 CMIS exist in the country of which about 1000 systems are currently functional and irrigate more than 64,000.00 acres of paddy land across the country.

The Government’s involvement in the irrigation sector has started only in 1967 during the second five year plan with the establishment of irrigation division under the Department of Agriculture. Since then the irrigation division under DoA has provided specialized attention to the improvement of CMIS through respective Dzongkhags, wherein the focus was more on maintenance of bottle neck structures.

In each Dzongkhag, there is an Engineering sector responsible for designing and implementing various kinds of engineering projects including irrigation works. However, the kinds of irrigation works that are undertaken directly by the Dzongkhag administration are limited to maintenance and repair of small irrigation canals.

Mandates & Functions

  • Sourcing funds from Donor Agencies and other appropriate agencies
  • Surveying, designing, estimating and monitoring of new irrigation schemes
  • Surveying, designing, estimating and monitoring of major rehabilitation of irrigation schemes
  • Prioritization of irrigation schemes based on the Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA)
  • Technical support and backstopping to Engineers at Local Government institutions

Achievements

During the 11th FYP, an ambitious and auspicious figure of 108 irrigation schemes were prioritized and planned for implementation based on the MCA and completed 33 irrigation schemes during the 11th FYP and surveyed, designed and estimated more than 70 schemes for future plan periods. With the completion of 33 major irrigation schemes executed centrally over 5000 beneficiaries were benefitted by assuring water for more than 15000 Ac of paddy land.

Moreover, the Irrigation section has also implemented dryland irrigation across the country for vegetables and citrus covering an area of more than 1300 Ac.

Target for the 12th FYP

The Irrigation section has planned 25 Irrigation schemes which would benefit more than 2000 households and assuring water for over 4000 acres of paddy land.

Terms of Reference

  • Overall management of the Section
  • Policy formulation for irrigation programmes/projects
  • Long term planning for adoption/development of irrigation techniques
  • Review the performance of the central projects and the Dzongkhag activities
  • Liaise with relevant agencies on matters related to irrigation programmes/projects
  • Review and conduct irrigation training requirement for the Section and Dzongkhags
  • Any other official duties assigned to him from time to time by the management
  • Provide appropriate designs for irrigation construction works
  • Preparation of annual budget for the Section
  • Carry out tender evaluation/pre-qualification for the works
  • Coordination and monitoring of irrigation programmes
  • Provide technical assistance on design of irrigation system to Dzongkhag and central agencies
  • Participate in flood mitigation studies and projects
  • Compilation of irrigation progress reports
  • Review environmental clearance applications for irrigation projects and processing environmental clearance
  • Coordinate irrigation activities of Area Development projects

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Building Construction Program (BCP)

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests being one of the largest Ministries both in terms of human and resource allocation, BCP is mandated with the task of providing technical services to all the agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. Annually, BCP carries out more than hundred construction activities pertaining to the Agriculture Infrastructure Development such as new construction (Offices, Laboratory Buildings + Staff Quarters), maintenance works, compound fencing, access roads and water supply. The agency concerned based on their need proposes either for New Construction or Maintenance Work of the Existing Infrastructure together with outsourcing of funds and other resources as required. Since construction planning is done by an individual agency, BCP is primarily involved with the Ministry’s Adhoc Activity. The BCP also formulates work plans and schedule of activities to achieve those planned targets as detailed below:-

Terms of Reference

  • Overall management of the Section
  • Preparation of design and estimate for building and water supply projects
  • Verification of bills and claims for construction projects
  • Oversee evaluation of bidding documents
  • Monitoring of construction projects
  • Maintain quality control of construction projects
  • Be a member of Tender Committee
  • Provide professional support and advice to employees
  • Outsourcing of very big construction activities to private consultants/ contractors, when it is beyond the capacity of the section
  • Provide technical backstopping to engineers at the ARDCs and CMU

Electrical

  • Prepare electrical design and estimate for building construction projects
  • Provide regular monitoring and supervision to construction projects
  • Liaise with client agencies and contractors for proper construction management of projects
  • Maintain proper records like Measurement Book and progress reports
  • Advise client agencies and contractors on any changes in design
  • Verify bills and claims for construction projects
  • Be a member of Tender Committee
  • Carry out evaluation of bids

Draughts person

  • Prepare detailed architectural, structural and topographical drawings for construction projects
  • Assist supervisors during site visits
  • Other clerical works
  • Store in-charge responsible for maintaining records of machinery and equipment with the Division

Mandates

The Engineering Division serves as a support-service division of the Ministry and is responsible for farm road, irrigation and building construction.  It provides technical services in design, estimate and supervision of construction works under the Ministry.  Besides, it also provides policy guidelines and technical backstopping to dzongkhags, especially in farm road construction and irrigation programmes in the country.   While planning and implementation of programme activities are carried out by the Dzongkhags and concerned agencies the Division carries out coordination and monitoring of the programmes. But as and when required the Division also implements construction and maintenance activities for farm roads and irrigation. In the Eleventh Five Year Plan, AED executed major irrigation construction/rehabilitation works centrally and through the ARDCs with financial assistance of the Government of India.

TOR of Agriculture Engineering Division

  1. Provide policy guidelines on agriculture infrastructure development;
  2. National planning and programming of agriculture infrastructure development;
  1. Review and align 5-year plans and strategies of Central Programs including Agriculture Research & Development Centres (ARDCs) with the Division’s plans and programs;
  2. Setting up technical standards and specifications for farm road, irrigation and other civil constructions;
  3. Provide technical assistance in survey, design and estimate of farm road, irrigation and other civil constructions;
  4. Co-ordinate agriculture infrastructure programs and projects;
  5. Co-ordinate and implement (drawings, design, estimation, tendering, evaluation, site supervision and contract management) of construction works – mainly irrigation – under central programs and projects;
  6. Provide relevant trainings in road construction, irrigation and civil construction to dzongkhag engineers;
  7. Implementation of critical river bank protection works to safeguard agricultural lands;
  8. Develop linkages and liaise with relevant agencies including local and/or international organizations in pursuit of agriculture infrastructure development.
  9. Review and final endorsement of technical proposals from Central Programs including ARDCs;
  10. Develop project proposals on agriculture infrastructure development for technical and financial assistance. Facilitate mobilization of funds from potential sources/ donors;
  11. Review and improve Dzongkhag 5-year plans and strategies (MOAF should pursue this with the GNHC) to align their plans with the MOAF goals and objectives;
  12. Provide technical support to Department of Disaster Management in the field of agricultural infrastructures;
  13. Prepare progress reports, five-year and annual work-plan and budget of the Division;
  14. Conduct periodic monitoring of farm road, irrigation and other civil constructions
  15. Coordinate deployment of road construction machinery to dzongkhags through the Central Machinery Unit (CMU).

The Agriculture Machinery Centre (AMC) and the Central Machinery Unit (CMU) are placed with the Agriculture Engineering Division.  While the two agencies are grouped under the Agriculture Engineering Division, their mandates are different and do not cover the engineering functions of the division. The Agriculture Engineering Division, under the present system carries out most of its functions with its staff at the headquarters in Thimphu and ARDCs.  The engineers are mainly involved in survey, design, estimate and supervision of the construction projects. Where local Area Development Projects exist these functions to a certain extent are carried out by Project Engineering staff.