Happiness and Hazelnuts

Daniel Spitzer digs into Bhutan’s soil to make a profit and sustain livelihoods

Courtesy: Article by David A. Andelman, Forbes Asia:Feb 05, 2010
Daniel Spitzer’s first shipment of 3,000 hazelnut trees arrived in Bhutan in December, each thumbnail-size and packed in 60 Pyrex petri dishes. The refrigerated plantlets headed straight for a hilltop laboratory-nursery just ten minutes from the airport. When they reach nearly 3 feet tall, they’ll be planted on a hilly tract in the remote eastern province of Mongar. Three years into the project, with six more ahead before marketable nuts begin dropping, it represents the first major foreign direct investment in Bhutan’s history and the realization of a dream the 53-year-old American entrepreneur has been nursing for three decades. Continue reading Happiness and Hazelnuts

10 million hazelnut to be planted in Bhutan

January 30: Over the next five years, 10 million hazelnut trees will be grown across Bhutan. This project will be undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture and Sage Private Limited, a private enterprise based in the US. The project aims to improve the livelihood of the farmers, generate employment and promote environment conservation.

A memorandum of understating for the project was signed between the Ministry of Agriculture and Sage Private Limited today. It was signed by the Agriculture Minister Lyonpo Dr. Pema Gyamtsho and Managing Partner of Sage Partners Limited, Daniel Spitzer.

Hazelnut cultivation is new in Bhutan. Except for some research trial plots in Yesepang and Khangma, currently there is no hazelnut plantation in the country. More than 20,000 acres of degraded, barren and agriculturally unproductive land all across the country will be used to cultivate hazelnut.

The Agriculture Minister Lyonpo Dr. Pema Gyamtsho said it will be a private-public partnership project. He said the project will bring in multiple benefits. Continue reading 10 million hazelnut to be planted in Bhutan