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New barley variety can increase plateau yields, says researcher

2024-03-07 16:14:00chinadaily.com.cn

A new variety of plateau barley is helping the Xizang autonomous region improve crop yield, preserve its ecology and provide shelter for wildlife, a researcher who has studied the crop for 15 years said on Thursday.

Dawa Dondrup, a Tibetan researcher from the region's Academy of Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Sciences, said the crop is a staple on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and a raw material for roasted barley flour, a traditional Tibetan snack, and barley wine.

"Plateau barley is embedded in Xizang's past, present and future," he said.

Dawa Dondrup, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, the top political advisory body, which is meeting in Beijing this week, said a new variety developed by his team can be planted in October and harvested in July next year, and in the interval, farmers can grow forage grass, which helps raise plant coverage in winter, improve soil condition, and prevent water and soil loss.

Some farmers have even innovated and planted buckwheat during the interval, and as the crop can be processed into buckwheat-based commodities, farmer's incomes can be increased, he said during a members' passage interview at the Great Hall of the People.

Citing government data, he said the region's food yield reached 1.08 million metric tons last year, and barley was a major contributor.

He added that his team is focusing on developing new varieties that can be planted in regions 3,800 meters above sea level, and can be rotated with other crops.


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