People’s perception on ecosystem services in organic agroecosystem at Gasa, Bhutan

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Serki Wangmo
Chuleemas Boonthai Iwai

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Organic agroecosystem strives for sustainability through enhancement of soil fertility and biological diversity while limiting the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. It has the potential to provide varied ecosystem services (ES) apart from food. Bhutan started organic farming (OF) officially since 2004 declaring Gasa as 100% organic district. However, knowledge on people’s perception on ES in organic agroecosystem is limited. Thus, study was conducted to assess people’s perception on ES in organic agroecosystem for direct use value at Gasa district. The sampling for this study was conducted at two levels. Firstly, the district and the gewogs were purposively selected since Khatoe and Khamaed gewogs under Gasa employ OF. The households under selected gewog were sampled using systematic random sampling. A total sample of 52 (N=174) households were selected for this study. Two approaches were employed to examine direct use value: (1) assessed people’s perceived value of provisioning and socio-cultural services, and (2) economic value from organic agroecosystem. The respondents perceived That OF has the potential to yield direct use values. Khatoed and Khamaed could avoid the cost of $38.62 and $130.35 respectively for not having to buy organically certified crops. Also, the willingness to accept monetary value on average were $ 1.02, $0.16 $ 0.84 for foreigners, students and visitors from other community respectively. This study would provide knowledge on the potential of OF on ES provision from the point of view of OF practitioner. Since this result is subject to vary overtime, such studies should be conducted at regular period to make precise decision to provide timely intervention.

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