6 October, 2017, Thimphu. A Seminar on the JICA Joint Partnership Program on an adaptive research trial in organic rice production with emphasis on the cultivation of rice without the use of synthetic weedicides was organised by the National Organic Program (NOP) with budgetary assistance from the JICA on 6 October, 2017, in Thimphu.
The project was initiated in October, 2016 and it has three adaptive research trials in Tendrelthang (Thimphu), Chimakha Organic farm (Paro) and ARDC-Bajo. It is coordinated by the NOP with field implementation by the ARDC-Yusipang, Bajo, NSSC and NPPC. The important objectives of the seminar were to review the outcomes of the research trials for the past one year which included the review on the weed control, yield, labour engagements etc, budget proposals for operational costs, work plan for the FY 2017-18 and the way forward.
The use of synthetic weedicide (Butachlor) has been significantly increasing in the country over the years to control the weeds in paddy and this is regarded as one of the biggest challenges to organic farmers. The adverse effect of using synthetic inputs in large quantities may not be apparent now but could have detrimental effects to the environment and human health in the long term. The project officials feel that it would be a good achievement even if the project trial could come up with some technologies to reduce the current usage of synthetic weedicides in paddy in the country.
Important resolutions of the seminar were to identify a potential long term field for the research trial, synchronisation in budget proposals for the JICA and NOP, development of better research protocol and production of organic fertilisrs for the project trial within the country.