New initiatives in pigeonpea and groundnut were launched in Odisha to address gaps in seed production, soil and nutrient management, pest management, and processing and marketing.

The projects will be farmer driven, farmer implemented and farmer owned. The major components of the two projects include: evaluate, identify, promote improved variety/hybrids of pigeonpea and groundnut; develop seed system at village level to achieve self-sustenance of farmer preferred varieties; build capacities of farmers and self-help groups; and link production with processing and marketing in groundnut.

The project will address major concerns about the non-availability of quality seeds at state level, reduced rainfall and poor soil nutrition.

At the Annual Planning and Launch meeting Mr Manoranjan, Deputy Director of Agriculture, Government of Odisha, shared that there was a major gap in the requirement and availability of certified seeds for pigeonpea, chickpea and groundnut. The government of Odisha has signed a MOU with ICRISAT and National Seeds Corporation (NSC) in order to bridge this gap within a 3 year period.

Mr Saroj Das, Deputy Director of Agriculture (Pulses), Government of Odisha, stated the need for good coordination between departments as well as among the project partners and the need to incorporate a strong monitoring component within the project to help make it a success.

The two new projects are:

  • ‘Scaling-up of Improved Groundnut Varieties in Various Cropping Systems of Smallholder Farmers in Odisha’ (to be implemented during 2015-2019).
  • Extension of an earlier project ‘Introduction and Expansion of Improved Pigeonpea (Arhar) Production Technology in Rain-fed Upland Ecosystems in Odisha’ to new districts in the state (to be implemented during 2015-1019).

The Annual Planning and Launch meeting of the two projects was held on 17 June at ICRISAT-India. Officials from the Department of Agriculture, Government of Odisha and ICRISAT scientists shared their learnings from the earlier project and presented plans for the new projects.

Partners: Government of Odisha (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana), Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, ICRISAT, seed organizations, farmer self-help groups.

Source: ICRISAT Happenings