Mar Mar Win1, Kyi Shwe1, Thin Maw Oo1 and Pooran M Gaur2

1Department of Agricultural Research (DAR), Yezin, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, 2ICRISAT-Patancheru, India

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Chickpea is an important legume crop in Myanmar, not only for local consumption but also for export. About 96% of the chickpea area is in the Central Dry Zone (CDZ) in Sagaing (47%), Mandalay (25%) and Magway (24%) regions. The CDZ is characterized by erratic and low (<750 mm) rainfall. Chickpea is grown in the post-rainy season on residual soil moisture, mostly without irrigation, and often experiences drought and heat stresses during reproductive phase. The chickpea varieties with early maturity, resistance to Fusarium wilt and tolerance to terminal drought and heat stresses are required for CDZ. Department of Agricultural Research (DAR) of Myanmar has worked closely with ICRISAT for the development of chickpea varieties suited to CDZ. Since 2000, seven early maturing (85 to 95 days) chickpea varieties, four in kabuli type, Yezin 3 (ICCV 2), Yezin 5 (ICCV 3), Yezin 8 (ICCV 97314) and Yezin 11 (ICCV 01309), and three in desi type, Yezin 4 (ICCV 88202), Yezin 6 (ICCV 92944), and Yezin 12 (ICC 07118), have been released in Myanmar from the breeding lines supplied by ICRISAT. Farmers have rapidly adopted these varieties. During 2014-15, 96% of the chickpea area was under five of these varieties (43% Yezin 3, 20% Yezin 4, 16% Yezin 6, 16% Yezin 8 and 1% Yezin 11). Adoption of these varieties along with improved crop production practices has given an impressive compound annual growth rate of 5.6% for chickpea yield during the past 15 years (2000-01 to 2015-16). The chickpea production increased 5-fold (117,000 to 581,000 tons) due to 3.3-fold increase in area (164,000 to 373,000 ha) and 2.2-fold increase in yield (712 to 1560 kg ha). Myanmar has emerged as an important chickpea exporting country from 2001 with an average annual export of 47,500 tons (valued at US$ 24 million).