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Regional organizations play an increasingly important role in strengthening and upholding the rule of law. Depending on their mandates and regional contexts, this role takes various forms. Regional organizations are also increasingly seeking to strengthen constitutional governance in their member states by developing regulatory frameworks that reject and sanction unconstitutional transfers of power and attempts to remain in power unconstitutionally. In some case, they are also mandated to assist in the actual design of national constitutions. This publication presents and discusses the initiatives and actions in the field of rule of law and constitution building by regional organizations.

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Bhutan represents typical mountain agriculture farming systems with unique challenges. The agriculture production systems under environmental constraints are typical of small-scale agricultural subsistence systems related to family farming in the Himalayan Mountains with very low level of mechanization, numerous abiotic stresses influenced by climate and other socio-economic constraints.

Ten quinoa varieties were evaluated at two different sites representing contrasted mountain agroecologies in Bhutan and were tested during the two agricultural campaigns and Yusipang masl represents the cool temperate agroecological zone, and Lingmethang masl the dry subtropical agroecological zone.

The sowing time differed depending on the growing season and elevation of the sites. Results indicate that quinoa can be successfully grown in Bhutan for the two different agroecological zones. The grain yields varied from 0. The grain yield in the lower elevation ranged from 1. Quinoa is rapidly promoted across different agroecological contexts in the country as a new climate resilient and nutrient dense pseudo cereal to diversify the traditional existing cropping system with some necessary adjustments in sowing time, suitable varieties and crop management practices.

To fast track the rapid promotion of this new crop in Bhutan, four varieties have been released in In just over three years, the cultivation of quinoa as a new cereal has been demonstrated and partially adapted to the maize and potato based traditional cropping systems under the Himalayan mountain agriculture. Quinoa is also being adapted to the rice based cropping system and rapidly promoted as an alternative food security crop in the current 12 th Five Year national development plan of Bhutan.

To rapidly promote quinoa cultivation, the Royal Government of Bhutan is supporting the supply of free quinoa seeds, cultivation technologies and milling machines to the rural communities.

In addition, the Royal Government of Bhutan has included quinoa in the school feeding programme recognizing the high nutrient value of the crop for enhancing and securing the nutritional needs of the young children. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: All relevant data are available within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files. Bhutan is a small land locked country with a fragile mountainous environment located in the Himalayan foothills. It is located between China and India with a geographical area of 38, square kilometers and a total population of , persons [ 1 ].

The country is primarily dependent on agriculture and about Bhutanese agriculture represents typical subsistence mountain agriculture where smallholder farmers follow an integrated family farming where agriculture, livestock and forests are intricately linked to meet the household food security.

Majority of the farmers grow crops, rear livestock for food, manure and draught power and depend on forest for fuel, fodder, food, litter and timber. To enhance domestic food production and diversify the farmers existing cropping system, quinoa, a new crop was introduced for the first time to Bhutan in from Peru [ 4 — 5 ] with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO of the United Nations.

The rationale for the introduction of quinoa to Bhutan is that FAO has identified quinoa as the most potential crop that can offer food and nutrition security to the world in the next century [ 6 — 8 ]. Lambsquarters Chenopodium album , a quinoa crop wild relative originated from Eurasia, was domesticated in the Himalayan Mountains and it is still possible to find farmers who grow it in India, Nepal, China and Bhutan for its grain or leaves [ 9 — 10 ].

It is a historical fact that the use of Chenopodium leaves and seeds for human consumption is not exclusive to the Andean region. A species of Chenopodiaceae was cultivated in the Himalayas a long time ago at altitudes of 1 —3 masl [ 11 — 12 ]. This species was classified as Chenopodium album but also as an unidentified Chenopodium sp. In Bhutan, some farmers continue to grow it and some Chenopodium sp. In addition, since the eighties, a researcher is growing quinoa on the Tibetan plateau, which presents cold high-desert farming conditions similar to those found on the Altiplano in the Andes.

The initial objective was to diversify the mainly barley-based diet of Tibetans by adding vegetable proteins to it through quinoa. The first project was launched in and the first quinoa plantings took place in After undergoing training in plant breeding in Mexico and Hawaii, Dr Trashi Gongbu succeeded in adapting quinoa to this mountain region and has now bred local varieties.

The area under cultivation is still limited to a few hundred hectares mainly due to difficulties of accessibility. Nevertheless, efforts for adaptation and ongoing work with small farmers have raised yields to nearly two tons per hectare.

The painstaking work of plant breeding over different periods through crossing of genetic material from southern Chile, Bolivia and quinoa varieties developed for Mexico has created a new biodiversity of quinoa for high-altitude Himalayan contexts [ 13 — 14 ]. More recently quinoa trials were conducted in the northern India plains which is quite close to the Himalayan region and have reported that the potential of expanding quinoa cultivation in the Himalayan region is very high [ 15 — 16 ].

This paper highlights the results of quinoa demonstration undertaken in , and presents the detail results of replicated trials conducted at two locations in and Before describing the target-growing environment for quinoa adaptation in Bhutan, it is important to provide an overview of the situation of the Bhutanese mountain agriculture where the new quinoa crop is expected to adapt and fit into the existing traditional farming systems.

By virtue of being located in the Himalayas, Bhutan is mostly dominated by rugged and steep topography. There is a very large altitudinal variation starting from meters in the south and rising to more than 7, masl in the north. The farming environment is physically challenging with a mountainous terrain. About 5. Bhutan is divided into three distinct climatic zones, which are alpine, temperate and subtropical zones.

Equally unique is the agroecological zones, which are subcategorized into six major groups corresponding with altitude and climatic conditions for agriculture planning and coordination Table 1. Such a fragile geo-physical setting dominated by steep topography makes Bhutan highly vulnerable to any small variation in the weather patterns and the current effects of climate change.

The cultivated agriculture area is estimated to be only 2. There are three dominant agriculture land use categories: i- Chhuzing or Wetland which are terraced paddies for rice cultivation; ii- Kamzhing or dryland which are rainfed lands that are not terraced and bunded; and iii- Horticulture land under orchards and plantations. The predominant crops under orchard and plantations are citrus, apple, arecanut and large cardamom. Among these three land use categories Kamzhing is most dominant and constitutes There are three main distinct cropping systems, which include rice, maize and potato based systems with different forms of multiple cropping as one of the simple mechanisms to produce more per unit area and to limit risks [ 21 ].

The dominant cropping systems and crop rotations for different agroecological zones are briefly summarized in Table 2. In the Kamzhing under the cool and warm temperate zones is potato, wheat or apples based where other crops such as vegetables, mustard, and buckwheat are rotated with cereals or intercropped in orchards.

In the dry and humid subtropical areas, maize based cropping systems are predominant where other cereals such as millets and buckwheat, vegetables, legumes and oilseeds are cultivated. In the terraced wetland or Chhuzhing under in the warm temperate zone, farmers mostly grow a single crop of high altitude irrigated rice with some farmers rotating peas, potato, oat and wheat as fodder after rice.

The cultivation of a second crop after rice is limited by incidence of early frost and short growing season. In the Chhuzhing under wet and humid subtropical areas, rice is followed by mustard, wheat and vegetables in small areas as water is limiting factor after the rice season.

Farm mechanization is highly limited due to steep landscape and as a result, the cost of production for the production of different commodities is generally very high. Thus, crop production predominantly depends on seasonal monsoon rains that normally start from late June to September [ 22 ] and water for crop production is increasingly becoming scarce and unpredictable due to the increasing variation of precipitation pattern.

Majority of the Bhutanese farmers practices self-sustaining, integrated and subsistence agricultural production systems with an average land holding of about three acres 1. Owing to the topography dominated by high mountains and deep valleys, there is a wide variation of microclimate, which requires highly location specific crops and varieties. Many of these crops, varieties and livestock breeds, are best adapted to marginal mountain farming environments for which finding suitable replacements are not straightforward [ 23 ].

The average landholding per household is 3. The National Soil Service Centre estimates that the inorganic fertilizer use in was In the traditional farming, the application of Farm Yard Manure FYM continues to be the major source of plant nutrients, which is applied at the rate of 3 to 5 t. The country has four distinct seasons namely spring, summer, autumn and winter. The spring season, which is generally dry, starts in early March and lasts until mid-April. The summer season commences in mid-April with occasional showers and continues through the early monsoon rains of late June.

The summer monsoon starts from late June through late September that brings heavy rains from the southwest [ 22 ]. The monsoon brings heavy rains, high humidity, flash floods and landslides, and numerous misty overcast days. The autumn season starts from late September or early October to late November. The dry and cold winter season commences from late November until March. During the winter months occurrence of frost in most part of the country is common and frequent snowfall is experienced at elevation above elevations 3, meters.

The most pressing farming constraints of the subsistence for Bhutanese farmers are small land holding, dependency on monsoon rains, low farm productivity, high cost of production, low scope of farm mechanization owing to a mountainous terrain and, low volume of production and distance from the market. Because of the steep topography, the scope of farm mechanization is highly limited which makes that all agriculture operations are labour intensive.

The most pressing abiotic challenges are varying precipitation patterns, a short growing season due to the early initiation of frost in the warm temperate and cool temperate areas and increasing climate extremes like drought, hail and windstorms, flash floods and increasing infestation by pests and diseases. A unique and the most pressing problem confronting subsistence Bhutanese farmers is the increasing human wildlife conflicts where crop damage and livestock killings by wildlife are forcing farmers to give up farming.

Bhutan has a very strong environment conservation policy, which is also one of the four pillars of Gross National Happiness philosophy. The large proportion of national land area is under forest cover and Climate change and its impact on subsistence Bhutanese agriculture is an emerging issue where the need for climate resilient crops and climate smart technologies is a priority.

To address the increasing impacts of climate-induced stresses there is a need to identify and use stress tolerant species, which exists but are neglected and underutilized [ 8 , 26 , 27 ]. Bhutanese mountain agriculture currently faces several hostile production challenges of which most are related to weather and climate. Quinoa has been proven to have exceptional tolerance to hostile environments and is considered a good candidate crop that can help enhance food and nutritional security in the face emerging challenges imposed by climate change [ 8 ].

Quinoa is proven for its extreme agroecological adaptability and can solve crop adaptation problems in places where climatic and soil conditions are main limiting factors for crop production [ 31 ]. From its first introduction in , quinoa has been included as a priority crop in the current 12 th Five Year Plan of the DoA [ 32 — 33 ]. Now, quinoa is rapidly being evaluated as a climate resilient crop under two different and contrasted agroecological zones with very specific microenvironments.

First demonstrations of quinoa in Bhutan were conducted in at Yusipang masl , Phobjikha masl and Khangma masl in the research farms with two varieties namely Amarilla Marangani and Amarilla Sacaca or INIA originated from Peru as quinoa commercial seeds [ 34 ].

The demonstrations were successful and produced good yields ranging from 2. Dzongkhag signifies an administrative district in Bhutanese language. In both locations, the trials were conducted for two consecutive years in and The different quinoa genotypes introduced to Bhutan were evaluated under rainfed dryland represented by both the two trial sites. A total of 10 varieties were evaluated at Yusipang, while at Lingmethang only nine varieties without DoA PMB were tested in both years.

The ten varieties were the eight received from Peru in and two others namely Ivory accessed from India and DoAPMB- shared by one individual. At Yusipang, there were 30 plots whereas at Lingmethang the number of trial plots used was Each plot had four rows with a row-to-row spacing of 0.

The seeds were sown uniformly in line and covered with a thin layer of soil using a locally made broom. Weeds were controlled by three hand weeding. The trial was irrigated twice using micro sprinklers before flowering when the crop showed symptoms of moisture stress.

Field preparations were done mechanically using powertiller. To prepare the necessary fine seedbed for quinoa, two ploughing were done followed by the pulverization of soil with a rotavator to prepare it for good sowing.

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First adaptation of quinoa in the Bhutanese mountain agriculture systems

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Bhutan represents typical mountain agriculture farming systems with unique challenges. The agriculture production systems under environmental constraints are typical of small-scale agricultural subsistence systems related to family farming in the Himalayan Mountains with very low level of mechanization, numerous abiotic stresses influenced by climate and other socio-economic constraints. Ten quinoa varieties were evaluated at two different sites representing contrasted mountain agroecologies in Bhutan and were tested during the two agricultural campaigns and Yusipang masl represents the cool temperate agroecological zone, and Lingmethang masl the dry subtropical agroecological zone. The sowing time differed depending on the growing season and elevation of the sites.

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