I started organic seeds project in Tsirang district in Bhutan. So, it is important to do production plan first – seed production.
First of all, we have to have harvesting goal like this kind needs how much kilo and that kind needs how much kilo. We have to target it. Then, after that, we have to identify the area, where this variety can be suitable. For seed production, we need to keep the seeds in isolation. Cauliflower and broccoli can cross reproduce so that’s why we need to lock and identify the area. My area, for example, two hundred-fifty meters from the sea level, which is not good for growing radish. So, I have to be careful of temperature when I’m doing seed production. Also, the important thing is to identify the good farmers who are hard working so the production will not fail.
Post-harvesting is also important. When you are harvesting, you have to see whether the seed is ripe or not and after harvesting, how to dry the seeds, that process you have to know. After drying is grazing the seeds. As soon as you harvest the plant, if you pile the plants, there will be a lot of heat, which can draw moisture. Moisture destroys the seeds and the plants will start to grow instead of remaining in the seed form.
Also, the purity is important. We test it in a bag, taking out one hand of seeds from the top, in between, and the bottom, just take out and count how many seeds in one plant there are and whether there are stones, sticks, or any other impurities in the seeds. We then can take the percentage. For post-examination test, we test planting the seeds and the result is 85 percent of our seeds actually grew.
The project objective is to provide high quality of organic seeds in Bhutan, to employ farmers with good income, and to provide technical processes to the seed growers that I know, also to create employment opportunity for young generations. In 2018, we grew radish and other vegetable type around 40 kilograms of seeds. Up to now we do not have our own pack yet and the seeds shouldn’t be kept for long time, it will not be good. So, we sold the seeds to Alpine Seeds Company. The price we got is not so good but this company is the only market for us.