FIELD-DAY on “Participatory technical assessment of evolutionary plant breeding”
The Agriculture Research and Development Center (ARDC) Bajo in collaboration with National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) and Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector organized Farmers Field Day on “Participatory technical assessment of evolutionary plant breeding (EPB) trial on mid altitude rice” at Chokolo, Kabesa gewog, Punakha and at Jomlingjor, Mendrelgang, Tsirang on 9th November and 10th November, 2020 respectively. In Punakha, 29 rice growing farmers (11 female) from Kabesa gewogs participated in the event while in Tsirang 25 farmers (16 female) participated in the field day along with gewog agriculture officer, and researchers from ARDC-Bajo, and biodiversity officer 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 Biodiversity 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 ARDCs (Yusipang, Bajo and Samtenling) and Dzongkhags. EPB trials in Bhutan have been initiated on rice and beans. The EPB project is for four years and the overall goal of the project is to sustainably increase rice and beans productivity and to enhance the resilience of the farming communities to climate change. The EPB trials on rice are ongoing in Punakha and Tsirang representing the mid altitude rice growing areas. The evolutionary populations for rice were prepared by mixing most popular traditional and improved varieties collected and contributed by farmers and ARDCs from specific locations.
In the field day, farmers were briefed on the EPB project activities and the importance of the trials conducted. There were three replications of each rice varieties trials. Farmers were asked to rank the varieties of the standing crops .
Trials data like crop height, number of tillers and panicle height were collected along with the crop cut. Data will be analyzed for report.