|Chaskarpa Ashom in farmers Field|
People of Budur and Kupeneysa community under Menji geog in Lhuentse had been growing a local maize cultivar namely Baypoo Karpo Ashom and Kengkharpa Ashom for decades. The monotonous cropping of same cultivar has turned out to be the main factor behind low crop production of about less than 600 kg per acre. Starting November 2012, RDC Wengkhar and the Geog Extension Centre began a formation of Community Based Seed Production (CBSP), replicating the centres experiences in CBSP from other sites in the region.
On 23rd September 2013, a PVS was carried out and crop cuts for all the four varieties were taken and assessed during a field day. All the new varieties showed good results with slight differences in yield among them but a significant difference with that of the local maize. Chaskarpa Ashom and Shafangma Ashom ,a fungal disease Gray Leaf Spots (GLS) and Turcicum Leaf Blight (TLB) tolerant varieties released in 2012 showed yields of 2.34 and 2.13 t/acre; Entry no. 33, another promising variety with tolerance to GLS and TLB gave average yield of 2.27 t/acre and Yangtsepa, an existing improved variety yielded 2.17 t/acre. The local maize Baypoo Karpo Ashom gave an average yield of only 0.68 t/acre .
Like Ap Tsheringla and Aum Sangmo, the farmers of Budur after decades of growing their local variety yielding only about 0.6 t / acre settles down with Chaskarpa Ashom (Figure 1 and 2). And this choice of variety now starts a new beginning for them as it marks the starting of a Community Based Seed Production Program. In the coming season of 2014, the community will be growing the same cultivar Chaskharpa Ashom finally leading to the formation of the first CBSP in Lhuentse Dzongkhag.
The formation of CBSP at Budur, Lhuenste is a collaborative activity of RNR RDC Wengkhar and RNR EC Menji, Lhuenste under the National Maize Program and is supported by the Decentralized Rural Development Project (DRDP-WB / AF), Department of Agriculture, MoAF.