7 November, Mongar: Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd), a new crop for Bhutan was successfully adopted in Bumpazor village at an elevation of 1738 metres above sea level under Drepong Gewog, Mongar Dzongkhag, in 2016. It was promoted in the gewog to diversify the cereal crops and enhance nutritional improvement.
The gewog received one kilogram of quinoa seeds (Ivory 123) from ARDC Wengkhar in 2016 and was sown in September. The crop was found reaching the flowering stage in just 2 months from the date of sowing and grew up to an average height 145-150 cm tall by harvest in December. The best cultivation period of quinoa at these sites could be after the maize harvest so that the grain formations do not coincide with the heavy rain.
The current on farm trial gave about 400 kg per acre which decreases to about 350 kg per acre after drying and cleaning. Farmers sold the grain as seeds and earned about Nu. 10,000 from the trial plot which calculates to about Nu. 30,000 per acre. Encouraged by the trial results, farmers would likely upscale the cultivation this season.
- Tenzin Rabgay, Agriculture Extension Supervisor, Drepong gewog, Mongar
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