14 January, Thimphu: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed yesterday among Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), College of Natural Resources (CNR) and Hirosaki University, Japan to implement a project aimed at capacity building and introduction of innovative technologies to improve apple production, productivity and processing in the country.
January 13-15, Gelephu: The first National Research Coordination meeting for the Department of Forests and Park Services is underway at Gelephu. Around sixty participants comprising of the Chief Forestry Officers and research section heads from various field offices are attending it.
The meeting will identify research and information needs based on field requirement, potential collaborators from field offices, training needs for field personnel and prioritize the research needs.
January 8, Laya: A farm shop was inaugurated in Laya which will serve as market outlets for the RNR products, provide buyback guarantee and facilitate access to farm inputs and basic food and essential commodities to farming communities.
Quinoa or quinua (Chenopodium quinoa Wild) is native to Andes Mountains of Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Quinoa is known for its genetic variability, wide adaptability and nutritional quality. It is sometimes referred to as “pseudocereal”, similar to buckwheat and amaranth. Quinoa is a highly nutritious food. Quinoa is used to make flour, soup, breakfast cereal and alcohol. Quinoa flour works well as a starch extender when combined with wheat flour or grain, or corn meal, in making biscuits, breads and processed food. Considering its high nutritive value, the Department of Agriculture (DoA) with the support of FAO has introduced two varieties from Peru for evaluation and adaptation in Bhutan. As part of the nation-wide testing, RDC Bajo evaluated two Quinoa varieties in the Phobjikha valley (2980 m) for their local adaptability.
The seeds were sown (27 March 2015) in line for easy weeding with a row to row spacing of 50 cm each. The seeds were sown uniformly and at later stage, the plants were thinned to maintain a plant to plant spacing of 25 cm. It was observed that there was enough moisture and irrigation was not necessary after sowing. Each variety consists of ten rows.
January 4-7, Paro: The National Seed Centre (NSC) organised its 5th annual review and planning workshop at Paro. The opening ceremony was graced by the Hon’ble Director General of Department of Agriculture, Mr. Nim Dorji. Unlike in the past, all the commodity coordinators of the Department participated and provided their invaluable inputs for drawing up the annual sale targets and plans of regional centres and farms.