countryaah, agriculture at the self-sufficiency level is the dominant
industry in Bhutan. The most important crops are rice,
maize, wheat, barley and potatoes. Buckwheat and millet are
grown with sweat. Fruit is the main forage crop. Rice is
imported, as domestic production does not meet the need.
Most farmers keep livestock: hunt and sheep at the higher
levels, cattle, pigs and chickens elsewhere.
More than half of the country's area is covered by
forest. Timber is an important export product, and a
developed forest industry is one of Bhutan's most important
potential sources of income. The state-organized forestry is
characterized by high ecological awareness, and
comparatively large funds are invested in education and
replanting. Nevertheless, the pressure on the environment
can be great. In the mountainous regions, the population is
small in relation to the total area. However, it can be
large in relation to the cultivable area, three to four
times larger than in the lowlands. The cultivation is
therefore forced up on steeper slopes, which causes loss of
forest and soil, followed by rapid drainage and flooding.
The country is rich in biodegradable natural resources,
but only small quantities are extracted for environmental
reasons. Mainly, coal, copper and calcium carbide are
extracted, the latter being one of the country's most
important export products. Bhutan has several hydropower
plants, and the country exports electrical energy to, among
other things. India. Furthermore, there are a few cement
factories and a growing number of small industries, mainly
for processing forest and agricultural products. A
high-quality craft produces fabrics, forged silver objects
and wood carvings.
Business is very strongly linked to India. The country's
balance of payments is entirely dependent on foreign aid,
which also comes largely from India.