The Agriculture Research and Development Center (ARDC)-Yusipang in collaboration with National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) and Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector, Paro organised the first participatory technical assessment of evolutionary plant breeding (EPB) trial on high altitude rice at Shari chiwog under Tshento gewog. The assessment was conducted under the guidance of three experts from Bioversity International in Rome on October 2. Over 20 rice growing farmers from Tshento and Dopshari gewogs, geog agriculture officer of Tshento, rice researchers from ARDC-Bajo, Samtenling, Yusipang and biodiversity officers from NBC participated in the event.
The EPB trials are introduced in Bhutan for the first time through the EPB project which is funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through Bioversity International. Bhutan is one of the partner countries participating in the Global Evolutionary Plan Breeding Project along with Nepal, Jordan, Ethiopia Iran and Uganda. In Bhutan, the EPB project is nationally executed by NBC in collaboration with ARDC-Yusipang, Bajo and Samtenling and agriculture sectors of Paro, Punakha, Dagana, Tsirang and Sarpang. EPB trials in Bhutan have been initiated on rice and beans. The EPB trials on rice are ongoing at Paro for warm temperate agro-ecology, in Punakha and Tsirang representing the mid altitude rice growing areasand in Sarpang for low altitude rice environment. EPB trials have also been started on climbing and dwarf beans at Tsirang and Dagana. The evolutionary populations for both rice and beans were prepared by mixing most popular traditional and improved varieties collected and contributed by farmers and ARDCs from specific locations.
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