Field day to sow Soybeans

Punakha: A field day to sow Soybeans (Glycine max) in Chimipang, Punakha was organized on 29 June by ARDC-Bajo and National Organic Programme as a part of the JICA Joint Partnership Programme on “Creation of Active Local Communities through the Introduction of Organic Agriculture with the System of Circulating Natural Materials in Bhutan”. The program is basically an adaptive research trial on organic rice production without the use of synthetic herbicides.

Seven volunteers including the Ex-Minister of Agriculture from Japan, officials from ARDC-Bajo, ARDC-Yusipang, Royal Project-Chimipang and Dzongkhag attended the field day. Two varieties of soybeans were sown, namely, ‘Enrei” imported from Japan and other local variety from Bhutan. The Enrei is said to have high nitrogen fixing ability and has high protein content of 44%.

The day was organised to mark the importance of legumes/pulses in organic farming considering their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. The nitrogen is an important macronutrient required by crops for better growth and higher yields. Therefore, crop rotation with legumes/pulses along with main crops in the field is very crucial   to maintain higher soil fertility in organic farms. A crop rotation of soybean, rice and wheat will be tried and such rotation is also expected to reduce weed pressure in rice which is a problematic in rice cultivation.

Pulses are healthy, nutritious and easy to cook. Growing pulses also promotes sustainable agriculture as pulse crops help decrease greenhouse gases, increase soil health and require less water than other crops.

The project is also looking forward to produce defatted soybeans which will be used as organic fertilisers in rice cultivation. Apart from soya oil extraction, other value addition of tofu making was discussed.

Submitted by National Organic Programme, ARDC-Yusipang

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