Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests is the competent Authority for “Biosecurity and Food Safety” to promote the quality and safety of food and agricultural related products. BAFRA was officially established as the Quality Control and Regulatory Services (QCRS) in August 2000. BAFRA is headed by the Director General and has two divisions: Food Quality and Safety Division (FQSD) and Plant and Animal Biosecurity Division (PABD). Apart from the head office, BAFRA has field offices in 20 Dzongkhags, 8 Dungkhags, 7 Entry Points (Plant and Animal Quarantine Stations) and 3 branch offices including the National Food Testing Laboratory (NFTL) at Yusipang, Thimphu. BAFRA Head Office is located near the Tashichhodzong and within the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests office complex.
Management Board (MB):
BAFRA is governed by a Management Board (MBBAFRA). The MBBAFRA represents the Royal Government’s sincere intention to promote the quality and safety of goods and products related to the Ministry and its clients. Therefore, the composition of the MBBAFRA reflects the interests of stakeholders and key actors. The MBBAFRA is represented by the relevant Departments and Agencies within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. Other external members include the Heads of Department of Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Department of Revenue and Customs, Ministry of Finance and Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (representing the private sector). The Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and Forests is the Chair of the MBBAFRA and the Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests is the Vice Chair and the Director General, BAFRA, MoAF is the Member Secretary.
BAFRA provides its services through the following:
- Plant and Animal Biosecurity Division
- Food Quality and Safety Division
- National Food Testing Laboratory
- Certification Services
BAFRA functions with following staff categories:
- General administration and management personnel
- Regulatory and Quarantine personnel for livestock section
- Regulatory and Quarantine personnel for plant section
- Regulatory and Quarantine personnel for food section
- Laboratory services personnel
- Elementary service personnel (ESPs)