It is something of a paradox that, while there is broad agreement that micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are an integral part of the economy in developing countries, they remain underserved.
Despite the lush greenery that surrounds Ngarpongtang village in Thangrong, Bhutan, until recently, it was impossible to grow vegetables there. “I used to have to go to other villages to exchange pinewood for vegetables,” says Wangdi, a 54-year-old farmer. “We couldn’t get vegetables to grow here.”
Agriculture is the foundation of Bhutan’s economy, employing more than 70 per cent of the population. Bhutan has made huge progress overall in recent years in improving its people’s standards of living, though poverty rates remain high in the eastern part of the country.