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Continuing wheat research in Nepal

Wheat never sleeps in Nepal. On 28 February 2011, a training course addressing, “Wheat disease scoring methodologies” was held at the National Wheat Research Program, Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Bhairahawa, in collaboration with CIMMYT.

The course’s objective was to enhance the knowledge and skills of collaborators participating in wheat pathological experiments in Nepal. The workshop provided its participants with instruction on how to obtain good quality, uniform data about wheat diseases. The list of participants included seven scientists and technical officers from various NARC research stations along with five resource persons from NWRP, Bhairahwa –all of whom are actively involved in collaborative wheat pathological research experiments at their research stations.

The training course included both theory and practical sessions that each addressed various aspects of wheat diseases. Janmejai Tripathi, NWRP Wheat Coordinator, delivered a brief introduction about the importance of wheat disease training and the NARSCIMMYT collaboration in Nepal and South Asia.

After opening announcements and addresses, six sessions were conducted to share and discuss the most current ideas on rusts and foliar blight diseases. Also, instruction touched on scoring methodologies at field level.

Deepak Bhandari, NARC wheat pathologist, took the lead in explaining wheat rusts and leaf blight scoring while Nutan Raj Gautam, NARC wheat breeder, was the main person to explain integrating these tools into the wheat breeding process.

Next, participants were taken to the wheat plots where they practiced scoring for each of the three rusts and leaf blight; detailing the scoring method, characteristics of disease symptoms, the differences between each of the rust, and how to record diseases at different growth stages.  All the attendees received an information sheet providing information such as symptoms, scoring methods, inoculation approaches, and proper growth stages for scoring. Participants carried these around throughout the training to make additional notes. The participants appreciated the experience, saying that it improved their ability to record important wheat diseases (rusts and leaf blight) and to plan for the promotion of pathological experiments. It also updated them on the most current NARS/CIMMYT wheat pathological research.