Two types of wheat are grown in Bhutan: winter or facultative wheat in the temperate drylands and spring wheat in sub-tropical wetlands or rice-based system. While the spring wheat received maximum research and development focus and 5 new high yielding varieties are available, winter wheat has largely been ignored although it is an important cereal for high altitude farmers and area cultivated is considerable. Of recent, the national wheat program has been paying more attention to winter wheat research and development.
RNRRDC Jakar has been conducting the Winter Wheat Varietal Improvement Program in collaboration with RNNRDC Bajo (wheat coordinating center) and International Center for Agriculture Research in Dryland Areas (ICARDA) with the aim to identify potential improved varieties vis-à-vis broadening the genetic base in the winter wheat ecosystem and provide variety choice to the farmers. The two years of vigorous on-station testing has resulted in narrowing down to potential 21 lines which need further selection.
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