AUTHOUR: Duptho Wangmo, Kezang Lhaden, Loday Phuntsho, Mandira Acharya, Pema Yangdon, Sonam Pelden, Sonam Tashi, Tshering Pemo, Thinley Wangdi, Yangchen Dema and Yeshi Lhaden
Cole crops, which include Cabbage, Cauliflower and Broccoli among others, occupy major components of vegetables in Bhutan. They are also important source of income, earning Nu. 106 million in 2016 from Cabbage and Cauliflower alone. However, production of these crops is largely limited to winter season to at most early spring given that they require cool season for growth and development. But the predicted climate change is likely to affect these crops since they prefer cool climes, and also there is increasing demand for these crops round the year. Therefore, to address some of these issues, heat tolerant Cabbage and Cauliflower varieties were introduced and evaluated in research fields of Agriculture Research and Development Centre, Wengkhar, Monggar. Crops were evaluated at Khangma (2100m), Lingmethang (650m) and Wengkhar (1650m) conditions during peak summer season when existing varieties cannot be cultivated. Results show that both the heat tolerant cabbage variety, Asha and Bengal King, can be produced during peak summer season even under Lingmethang condition. Of the two, Asha has greater potential for export market given its ideal size for Indian markets. The study also showed that heat tolerant cauliflower varieties, White Express 50 and Pragati 40, can be produced during peak summer season. Given their smaller size, they are also suitable for export markets in India. Of the two, Pragati 40 is more tolerant to heat and hence more suitable for cultivation in low lying areas. In general, these varieties provide not only options but also opportunities to deal with the emerging issues and needs.
Heat tolerant; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Peak summer; Export market.
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