October 1, Thimphu: The Research and Development Centre (RDC) Yusipang organised a field day on Quinoa ( Chenopodium quinoa Wild), a new crop introduced in the country for the first time. The event was graced by the Hon’ble Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji accompanied by Dasho Tenzin Dhendup, the Agriculture Secretary, Mr. Nim Dorji, the Director General for Department of Agriculture (DoA) and other officials from the Ministry.
Currently, DoA with support from FAO has introduced two varieties from Peru for evaluation and adaption in Bhutan. Additional 10 more varieties will also be tested to screen the high yielding and best suited varieties under Bhutan Growing conditions.
The average production in Bhutan is expected to be around 500kg/acres to 600 kg/acres and globally, the price of processed quinoa seed ranges from US $ 4 to US $ 6 per kg.
Quinoa is an ancient crop which is highly nutritious food. The nutritional quality of this crop has been compared to that of dried milk by FAO. The protein quality and quantity in quinoa seed is often superior to those of more common cereal grains. Thus, the cereal has gained prominence as health food around the world.
The crop is a drought tolerant which can be cultivated in low moisture content which is to be well suited in Bhutan. It is an easy crop to cultivate with low management and input required compared to paddy, potato and other crops.
The crop is at production trial at Phobjikha, Yusipang, Khangma and Jakar. Starting this November, the production trial will be conducted at mid and low altitude and in the coming summer season, the crop will also be tried at high altitude areas of Merak, Sakteng, Gasa, Laya and Lingshi.
The RDC Yusipang is also planning to distribute the seeds to farmers for cultivation.
Reported by Tashi Yangzom and photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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