15th February 2020: Director, Department of Agriculture (DoA) accompanied by the Offtg. Program Director of Agriculture Research and Development Centre (ARDC) Yusipang and other relevant officials visited Water wasabi adaptation trial at Tendrelthang under Chang geog, Thimphu Dzongkhag. The main objective of the visit was to investigate the current status, interact with the officials involved in the research, discuss issues and provide advisories. The Director expressed the need for Research Centers in Bhutan to innovate such technologies which can later be promoted as an agriculture enterprise; an enterprise with the potential to earn foreign exchange and employ youths productively.
The water wasabi adaptation trial was initiated as collaborative research between the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan and one of the Japanese farmers from Shizouka, Nagoya Prefecture, Northern Japan in the year 2017. Initially, a small scale research trial with just 20 numbers of wasabi plantlets was established at Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAP) Office under ARDC, Yusiapng. This trial was however not successful due to unreliable and limited water source. In September 2018, the bigger scale trial with about 200 plantlets was established at Tendrelgang Community Forest under Chang Geog where there is reliable perennial spring water.
The ARDC Yusipang is the implementing partner for water wasabi research and the first harvest will be done in September 2020. The data such as its’ agronomic characters, water temperature and others are maintained on a weekly basis by ARDC Yusipang for future reference and analysis.
-Reported by Jimba Rabgyal
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