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.
Approximately 200 kg of FYM was used during land preparation in each plot as suggested in the research protocol. It was well incorporated with soil and top dressed with Nitrogen @ 70 kg /ha. Manual hand weeding was carried out once in a month after 30-35 days old. A total of six times weeding was carried out. No pest and diseases were observed during the growth stages.
The crop was harvested manually on 24 November 2015. Three crop cut samples were taken from each variety with a sample size of 6m2 each. Amarilla Sacaca variety produced an average of 966 kg per acre and A. Maragani gave 797 kg per acre. It was observed that there was more rain fall this year as compared to earlier years. As a result most of the day temperature remained low and affected the plant growth. This year the crop matured very late (230 days) and harvest was delayed by about 70-80 days. If the climate and other factors remain normal, these two varieties of Quinoa are suitable and will perform better at this elevation. A total of 24 kg seed have been collected for further testing.
-Submitted by: RDC, Bajo
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