Buckwheat is one of the important cereal crops in world which was domesticated from their wild form. This crop is of multi uses where it can be used from leafy vegetable to its flour. In Nepal, buckwheat is commonly cultivated in High and Mid hills where it can be cultivated from 70 m altitude of Terai to 7500 m of High hills. Buckwheat contains 13.35 % protein, 1.35 % minerals, 3.45 % fat and 75.55% carbohydrate in it which contains highly digestible fibers which makes it as medicinal cereal crop. Manang, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Jumla, Dolpa, Humla and similar districts along with mid hills districts are famous for buckwheat cultivation.
Buckwheat consists of abundant amount of fibers, vitamins B1, B2, B6, proteins, minerals, antioxidants, polyphenols. Since it does not consist of cholesterol, it is highly beneficial from health point of view. Also, it lacks glutein so, its consumption is beneficial to people having glutein intolerance or seliac disease.
The positive health benefits of buckwheat are immense in human reducing effect of diabetes (maintaining glucose level in blood), obesity, and many more. Hence, we can claim that it is king of cereal in terms of health benefits.
- Tite phapar:
Bhaadure, Bhalu, Aaulo, Barkhe, Bharule, Tite, Jhoumre, Kalokise, Chiniya, Chuchche, Dalle, Dhau, Dhesu, Dhop, Ghambre, Gharelu, Gore, Seto kise, Kambre, Khumbeli, Taabre, Taan, Taar, Tite etc.
- Mitho Phapar:
Bisam, Chhendruk, Bahramase, Batule, Ghode, Mithe, Mithi, Ogale, Seto, Seyachun, Guliyo, Jhusilo, Kalo, Madane, Seyakar, Thulo, Tate etc.
Buchwheat contain rutein compound which helps in platelets formation and helps in clotting blood. Mithe phapar is mostly cultivated in different parts of wprld.
Buckwheat requires cool and humid climate and is ready after 3-4 months. In Himalayan region, harvesting is completed by first frost or snowfall. Tite Phapar can tolerate much cold temperature than Mithe phapar. Tite Phapar consists of rutein in higher amount that`s why it is used as medicinal purpose. This crop can be harvested in short period with low investment and minimum care. Tender leaves and growing shoot are consumed as leafy vegetables, seed directly by cooking, by making flour, or by making cake, biscuit, noodles etc. stuffs.
Soil & Field preparation:
Sandy loam soil or clayey loam soil are much preferable to buckwheat than other type of soil. However, it can be cultivated in almost all types of soils. Similarly, well fertilized acidic soil is good for this crop for higher production. If soil is highly acidic, agricultural lime is applied according to recommendation and since this crop uptakes phosphorus more from phosphorus fertilizer than mixed type, phosphorus fertilizer is applied.
Field is tilled for 2-3 times and soil is made loose and cover the seed followed by planking to level the field. If moisture is low in field, tillage is done for 1 time and seed is sown.
Seed Sowing & time:
Sow the buckwheat from Baisakh 15 to Jestha 15 in Himalayan region, whereas sowing is from Shrawn 1 to Bhadra in Terai from Bhadra to Ashoj. Generally, broadcasting is done to sow the seed however, dibbling or sowing behind tractor or plough is also done to sow the seeds. Seed rate required is 50-70 kg per hector. In case of Tite phapar, 20% less seed is required than Mithe phapar. Spacing of 25 cm with 5-7 cm depth is ideal for this crop.
Mithe Phapar: 60-70 kg/ha
Tite Phapar: 50-60 kg / ha
Manuring & irrigation:
Fertilizer and irrigation requirement are low in case of buckwheat than other crops. Apply 12-15 tons FYM during field preparation. Buckwheat after maize crop may require even less manure than main crop. Inorganic fertilizer recommended for this crop is 30: 20: 10 kg NPK/ha which is applied during final field preparation.
Till now, buckwheat is cultivated as rainfed crop in Nepal. If irrigation is available, irrigate after 20-25 days after germination and before flowering / grain development. Mostly it is cultivated as rainfed crop.
It is most easy crop in village area of Nepal. There is no weeding practice in buckwheat. When sown densely, it gives higher leafy production and dominates weed growth, but if weed dominates weed should be removed during vegetative stage.
Harvesting, Threshing & Storage:
Buckwheat never matures at the same time. So, it is harvested at highest maturity in the field i.e. when 60-70% grains mature in the plant, they are ready for harvested and harvesting is done after dew dry in the morning to avoid shattering loss. Make heap for 2-3 days and dry them in the sun to mature non matured grains. Now, threshing is done manually or using thresher. Winnowing is carried out, and grains and other particles are separated which are fed to farm animals. The grains must be dried in the sun to make sure moisture content is 10-12% for storage.
Generally, there is no huge disease and pest attack in buckwheat. Storage pests are huge problem if they are being stored with high moisture and in more pest attacking store room. So, storage is to be done in cemented house or making piles of filled sacks in dry and cool area.
Foreign varieties of buckwheat are infested with white rust which initially affect in leaves, making them fall and then shifts to flowers causing no grain formation or wrinkled grain formation reducing production. For management, apply Bordeaux mixture @ 10% in the field.
Buckwheat is king of cereal.