Rice is the main staple grown by the farmers of Khejo, Daw Zimpa and Tongsho villages of Tseza Geog under Dagana Dzongkhag. There are over 25 households in the three villages and rice cultivation area ranges from 1500 to 1700 meters above sea level.
About six years back, these villages were affected by a severe hail storm at the time of rice harvest. The rice crop, in general, was severely affected and the Bathram, the common local variety grown then was completely destroyed. Farmers could hardly salvage the seeds for the next season. To assist the rice farmers, the Dzongkhag Extension office then supplied seeds of the improved red rice variety Khangma maap.
In order to enhance rice production and diversify the rice variety in the Geog, Prem Dhan Limbu, Tseza Geog Agriculture Extension Officer, requested RNR RDC Yusipang for seeds of a better and high yielding high altitude rice varieties. In response, the Field Crop Sector of RDC-Yusipang supplied 190 Kg seeds of three popular high altitude rice varieties namely Khangma Maap, YusirayMaap 2, and YusirayKaap 2.
These three varieties were distributed to the farmers of three villages who cultivated the varieties under their own management. The Agriculture Extension Officer found the performance of these varieties encouraging and wanted to organize a farmer’s field day to assess the performance and demonstrate the success to other farmers. Accordingly, a farmer’s field was conducted on 30th October 2014 in the Geog with fund support from RNR RDC Yusipang.
The yield assessment during the field day showed that the new high altitude red rice variety Yusiray Maap 2 produced the highest with 1.85 t/acre. The yield of this variety was 49% higher than that of Khangma Maap which gave only 1.24 t/acre. The lowest yield of 1.02 t/acre was recorded for Yusiray Kaap 2. Majority of the farmers selected YusirayMaap 2 for the next season considering its high yield and red rice. The only negative feedback from the farmers on this variety was the difficulty while threshing. YusirayMaap 2 is a low shattering variety and is quite difficult to thresh manually. Farmers were advised to use the pedal thresher to thresh this variety.
Farmers in these three villages now have two improved rice varieties. YusirayMaap 2 is a blast resistant high altitude red rice variety released in 2010 by RNR RDC Yusipang. It has the potential to increase the yield by following the recommended management practices. This variety was developed using a blast resistant Japanese rice variety Akiyutaka and a local variety Ray Maap as parents. It is recommended for high altitude rice growing areas 1500 meters above sea level.
Meantime, RNR RDC Yusipang will supply more source seeds of YuisrayMaap 2 and has collected the seeds of local variety Bathram for purification and rehabilitation.
Contributed by: TsheringChekey, Padam Lal Giri, Jigme Wangdi, RNR, RDC Yusipang and Prem Dhan Limbu Dagana Dzongkhag
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