Farmer participatory varietal selection (FPVS) trials have enabled the release of yet another new improved groundnut variety in India. The ICGV 00351, a farmer preferred variety of groundnut was released as Co 7 by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) for cultivation in both rainy and postrainy seasons in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Currently grown bunch varieties account for 62% of groundnut area in the state and are low pod yielders. The ICGV 00351, a Spanish bunch variety is expected to replace them to increase production and productivity of groundnut in the state.

ICRISAT and TNAU staff along with farmers visiting FPVS trials in Erode district, Tamil Nadu. Photos: ICRISAT(left) & Ganesamurthy, TNAU(right) .

ICRISAT and TNAU staff along with farmers visiting FPVS trials in Erode district, Tamil Nadu.
Photos: ICRISAT(left) & Ganesamurthy, TNAU(right) .

The new variety was identified as a farmer preferred variety from trials conducted in Erode and Thiruvannamalai districts of the state under the Tropical Legumes II project during 2008 to 2010/11. In these trials, ICGV 00351 recorded a pod yield increase of 15-18% over VRI Gn 6 and 26-31% over TMV Gn 13.

The variety is not only superior for pod yield but is also drought-tolerant and moderately resistant to rust and late leaf spot. Farmers also selected ICGV 00351 for higher haulm yield besides the pod yield advantage. The haulm yield was 6% over VRI Gn 6 and 12-14% over TMV Gn 13.

Project partners from TNAU, led by Prof Ganesamurthy, have organized Nucleus and Breeder Seed Production training at the College of Agriculture, TNAU during the 2013/14 postrainy season to support the formal seed system.

Truthfully-labelled seed production training was also organized in the farmers’ field in Erode, Kanchipuram, Salem and Tanjore districts to make quality seed of new varieties available to farmers through an informal seed system.

The FPVS approach is a successful method to identify and release farmer preferred varieties. Going by the success so far, new FPVS trials comprising of high oil yielding varieties (ICGV 07222, ICGV 07018, ICGV 06146 and ICGV 03128) are underway in Erode district.

The Tropical Legumes II project, part of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Leagues is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a joint initiative of three international agricultural research centers: ICRISAT (chickpea, groundnut and pigeonpea), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (cowpea and soybean), and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (common bean).

Adapted from ICRISAT Happenings