Friday, May 10, 2019

Govinda Rizal- A Brief Introduction

Govinda, a plant breeder, and a molecular biologist joined C4 rice project in 2010 as a postdoctoral research fellow. He led the mutant verification team from 2010 to 2012, and gene discovery team from 2013 to 2015 to hunt genes for C4 syndrome. Govinda has worked with soybean, sorghum, rice, wheat, maize, Setaria and has designed field experimental plans, supervised large scale cultivation of mutants and transgenic plants as well as performed high throughput phenotyping. Govinda's works on gene identification involved mutant characterization through detailed phenotyping and next-generation sequencing, and gene validation through a transgenic approach. He has fruitful collaboration with scientists from Australia, USA, UK, Korea, and China. Having worked in laboratory, greenhouse and field environments as a mutation breeder and next-generation sequencing practitioner, Govinda has gained extensive work experience in agronomy, plant breeding, molecular biology, plant physiology, and bioinformatics, various research skills and the ability to work with people of different cultural and academic diversity. Govinda is meticulous, attentive to detail, and an enthusiastic team player. He is diligent, quick to pick up new skills and comfortable to learn from others. He has good experience supervising and training staff members of different educational levels. Govinda also has provided thesis students with research guidance, supervision of data analysis and result interpretation.

Since the end of 2015, he has been working in different sectors in Nepal including but not limited to:
-Project evaluation, training, freelance consultant 
-Trainer, training on Citrus Cultivation and Management. Gamgadi, Mugu
-Research and Development, private sectors, Nepal
-Freelance consultant, private sector and INGOs, Nepal
-Periodic assessment of private and non-governmental projects
-Training and supervision on the cultivation of vegetables and cereals at farmers’ field
-Supervision of hybrid rice seed production in Nepal
-Trade of hybrid seeds, agro-chemicals, and equipment from international companies
-Supervision of M.Sc. and Ph.D. students’ thesis works
-External examiner at Tribhuvan University, Nepal

-Publication of books and articles in journals. 

Friday, February 15, 2019


BLACKLISTED IN BHUTAN: Love Lost and Love Transformed in the Land of Gross National Happiness by Rieki Crins.

Rieki Crins reached Tsachaphu, then a rural village of hot spring in the Pochhu valley in Bhutan, for anthropology research for her Masters and later continued it for her Ph.D. She lands up in the village with a European mindset keeping and frequently comparing Bhutan to Medieval Europe. She has an abundant appreciation for the country and the villagers. Very soon her elite European mindset and behavior crush with the culture shock.
She reaches to a morning meal without washing her hands or face- the basic habit all Asian learn from the cradle.
She digs out the unique but prevalent features of rural health, hygiene, agriculture, culture, and hardship.
She has picked up the local language and excavated the culture to its depth and made the culture the subject of the book.
Throughout her writing, she appears an innocent and energetic researcher. Even after her Ph.D., she visits Bhutan twice a year as a tourist guide. She struggles to anchor in Bhutan with a hotel cum school. Her effort benefits many unemployed youths.
The twist comes when, without a yellow signal, her visa to Bhutan is denied without an explanation. Someone explained to her that the denial was because she was ‘Blacklisted.’ Thereafter, her writing flashback to the incidences of restriction and dictatorial rule in the silent country. She begins to see hypocrisy in the King's newfound ideology of Gross National Happiness.
She recalls some possible causes and speculates the reason to be one of her Facebook comments that possibly upset a member of the powerful royal family.
There is a big population, in and outside Bhutan, which is critical of the autocratic government. The title of the book ‘BLACKLISTED IN BHUTAN’ gets the early attention of such a group of people. 
She reached Bhutan in February 1990 when the government was iron-fisted handling a serious dissident movement. The book is free from the description of such political background.    
What she has explained but not concluded is her description of Wangmo’s and her partner- a Cello virtuoso- Maria’s anomalous behaviors in Bhutan. Her description matches TN Rizal’s description of Mind control in words and essence. Was she mind-controlled? Was her mind/intention read before taking an action on her? Reiki only can recall, re-evaluate and share it in detail in the future.   
She has also mentioned her engagement with Karen refugee/community in Burma and Thailand.
There are plenty of clues for the readers to speculate the reason for the denial of her visa to Bhutan.
On top of all the Book is a masterpiece on the culture of a Drukpa village. However, the bold title ‘BLACKLISTED’ shadows her content.

A one sitting book is full of carrying, entertaining and educating contents and is one of the must-read books for the students of culture and anthropology. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018



Two-week long 10th Kapilvastu Mahotsav has brought together Agriculture and Tourism related stalls, markets, people and stakeholders to a common ground.

Some photos of the event.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

My Friend of the Day: Balaram Poudel

2nd May 2017

With Mr. Balaram Poudel, the President of Bhutan Peoples' Party.

My friend of the Day: Shanta Karki

7th July 2017

Dr. Shanta Karki

Then and Now



Shanta and her team took me to Tandi, Chitwan to study the protected horticulture.  It was run by Brother Rajendrajung Rayamajhi, my senior at IAAS. After graduating from IAAS, he tried his luck in some organization and seed companies, where he gained skills, that turned out to be his assets later. For the last seven years, he has been involved in the protected farming.  When we reached his house, in Pithuwa, Chitwan, Brother RajendraJung, his wife and his mother were waiting for us with a complete lunch set for all. His father appeared briefly.

He had constructed large plastic and screen houses.  He had grown capsicum, pepper, tomatoes, potatoes, and cucumber. He also showed us his new experiment with waste decomposer bio-fertilizer.

I wish the technology is replicated to different parts of the country.

With Brother Rajendrajung Rayamajhi the pioneer of the protection horticulture in Nepal.


2018-DECEMBER- 03


The owner of the floriculture Mr. Prakash Panta took us around his farm. He had a large cultivation of roses, gladiolus, chrysanthemum. He also had a large farm of tomatoes in open.

We had a long conversation on the technicalities of the protection horticulture.

Some photos

Saturday, December 1, 2018


In Western Terai, its time for a transition of two major agricultural activities- from rice harvest to wheat sowing. There is an acute shortage of labor. Soon after the rice harvest, the leftover straw, ratoons, and rice-stubbles are burnt for lack of easy alternatives. The use of straw for cattle is in decline. The Field-fire is the easiest and the most common practice here. Even the government agencies and research centers do the same.

Soon after burning, the fields are tilled for wheat cultivation. The farmers are in a competition and hurry to sow their next crop. If they are late to sow now, they fear to the delay in the next crop, months later.

The roads are mostly dusty and countryside are smoky. The fog common to both the places is expected soon. There is no concern of the people's health. The hospitals are crowded. There must be a link between pollution and sickness. The adverse effect is clear on the bees.

Several farmers have mustard and bees on the adjacent fields. The mustards are flowering and we assume the bees must have been happy. But they are not. The smoke from the rice straw burning has displaced the bees from their artificial ( I mean prepared by the beekeepers) hives to their natural safety. A hive of bee has come outside my room. I am glad to host them safe from the farmers. But the straw burners are out of my control.

A colony of bees left its hive and took refuge outside my room. Welcome bees.