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Scientist improves yield of tea plant varieties

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After 30 years of conducting research on tea plants, Nguyen Thi Minh Phuong has created five new varieties of tea, including one which gives 60-70 percent yield higher than the old one.

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The new tea variety gives 60-70 percent yield higher than old one


Phuong has been working at the center since she graduated from Agriculture University No 1, now the Vietnam Agriculture Academy. Her daily work includes taking notes, and comparing and assessing items created by sexual hybridization and other biological mutation agents. 

The phases of variety creation are different depending on cross-breeding methods. However, in general, tea plant varieties have to go through many phases of selection before they can be put into production. 

“At first, you need to select the most prominent plants, develop them into promising tea lines and grow them on a trial basis in different areas,” she explained.

“It takes 15-20 years to create a new variety and make it recognized,” she said.

In 1990, when she began working for the center, she and her co-workers for the first time used the method which uses mutation agents with low-frequency radiation rays to treat TRI777 seeds and select TRI5.0 which has a higher yield than the input variety, by 60-70 percent. 

Only in 2015, or after 25 years of experiments, was TRI5.0 recognized as the variety which can be grown on a trial basis throughout the country. 

Phuong began creating PH8 and PH9 varieties in 1998 from a tea variety from Taiwan and TRI777. However, in 2009, the two varieties were officially recognized for trial production and in 2015 PH8 got recognition as a new tea variety.

In 2015, Huong Bac Son and TRI5.0 created by Phuong were officially recognized by MARD and allowed for trial production. After that, VN15 was also recognized.

Of these varieties, PH8 is resistant to pests and drought and gives high yield, so it is suitable for making high quality green tea and black tea. 

After being planted in specialty tea areas such as Thai Nguyen, Son La and Phu Tho, PH8 is now grown on a large scale throughout the country. 

Lai Chau province is encouraging its farmers to cover the tea growing area with PH8 with hundreds of hectares developed every year.

Tuyen Quang province is also striving to develop the variety. It has joined forces with Laos to grow PH8 tea. The variety has been growing very well in Lao conditions with six months of rain and six months of no rain.



Source: Kham Pha - VietNamNet

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