KATHMANDU: Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) has preserved more than 18,000 varieties of 300 crops so far for agrobiodiversity conservation.
The NARC, which has preserved crops like paddy, maize and wheat, has adopted a policy for conservation, promotion, utilisation and species development of indigenous crops.
Executive Director of NARC, Dr Deepak Bhandari, said that different new varieties of crops with high yields and that adapt to climate change have been developed keeping research of food grains in priority in view of food security and the growing import of foods and agro products.
Production of paddy, maize and wheat has increased by 60%, 120% and 140% respectively, according to the NARC.
Varieties of wheat developed by NARC are planted on 94% of the total area under wheat cultivation.
It is believed that such varieties of wheat would contribute to saving Rs 17 billion to the country in terms of import substitution.