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Bhutan is a small country in the Himalayan mountains where subsistence agriculture is practiced due to small land holdings and undulating mountainous terrains. Due to diverse altitudinal and agro-ecological environments, many food crops are cultivated. Wheat is currently a secondary cereal, grown over an area of 1,964 ha with a total production of 3,465 Mg. While there are enormous opportunities to increase wheat production in Bhutan, it is challenged by numerous biotic and socio-economic factors such as labour shortage and low economic return. Among the biotic constraints, stripe rust and leaf rust are the most important diseases. Stem rust has not yet been reported. Poor crop nutrition, both through low soil fertility and inadequate external supply, also results in low productivity. In addition, better remunerative crops and affordable-imported products discourage wheat production. However, the availability and accessibility to higher yielding disease-resistant varieties, fertilization (both organic and inorganic), appropriate seed rate, optimum planting time, mechanization, rotation with legumes and expansion of wheat area are some measures that will play a crucial role in managing sustainable wheat production in Bhutan. In this paper, we provide a brief overview of the current scenario of wheat production, discuss the constraints and provide strategic guidance to improve wheat production in Bhutan.


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