Sunkosh, Tsirang: Khamtey, a traditional variety from Phuntshothang, Samdrupjongkhar, is considered as one of the premium rice varieties because of its good eating quality. Owing to its better taste, the market for the variety is assured as signified by the quantities of Khamtey transported from Phuntshothang to other destinations by various entrepreneurs.
Rice is the main crop in Sunkosh village (350 m) and shares similar agro-ecological conditions particularly the air temperatures with that of Phuntshothang. Considering the similarity, a production evaluation trial on Khamtey was organised by RNRRDSC Tsirang in the 2015 cropping season in collaboration with Tsirang Dzongkhag Agriculture sector and National Biodiversity Center. The seed was originally sourced from Phuntshothang and two farmers from Sunkosh had volunteered to evaluate. The crop was raised entirely under the existing farmer’s management practices.
A field day was conducted at harvest time to jointly assess the crop performance, gather farmers’ feedbacks and plan future course of actions. Farmers, through the field visit, were convinced of its adaption to their locality. Farmers also appreciated the agronomic traits (tall height, grain size) of Khamtey which were comparable to their local dominant variety, Choti. More importantly, Khamtey (1249 kgs/acre) could yield better than their local variety, Choti (995 kgs/acre) which further proved its superiority and suitability.
With the assured market and better eating quality, all rice farmers of Sunkosh have shown interest in cultivating Khamtey in the ensuing season, though the exact area could not be quantified on the day. As envisaged, Khamtey cultivation will broaden the rice genetic base and contribute to cash generation of these needy farmers.
Report by: Sangay Tshewang (email@example.com) and Doley, RNRRDSC Menchuna, Tsirang
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