The success and impact of ICRISAT’s pigeonpea seed systems project has prompted the state government of Odisha, India, to extend the project to three new districts (Ganjam, Gajapati and Sonepur) of the state over the period 2015-2018. The ‘Introduction and Expansion of Improved Pigeonpea Production Technology in Rainfed Upland Ecosystems of Odisha’ had been implemented in five districts (Rayagada, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Bolangir and Boudh) of Odisha state during the period 2011-2014.

Acknowledging ICRISAT’s contribution, the Department of Agriculture and Food Production, Government of Odisha, invited ICRISAT to put up a stall showcasing new and improved technologies beneficial to smallholder farmers at an agricultural fair at Berhampur, Ganjam district, Odisha.

Pigeonpea in demand at Agri Fair
One of the major attractions at the ICRISAT stall was the unpolished pigeonpea dal sold in 500 g and 1 kg packs by NGO partner Loksebak from Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi district. There was high demand and over 1,000 kg of dal was sold at the fair.

A team headed by Mr Sarat Kumar Tripathy, State Coordinator, put up the stall where samples of pigeonpea plants with pods of different varieties/hybrids and informative print material developed by ICRISAT were displayed.

The stall was visited by a large number of farmers from 10 districts of Odisha and government officials including Mr Pradeep Kumar Maharathy, Minister of Agriculture, Government of Odisha; Mr Rajesh Verma, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Food Production; Mr Aparti Sethy, Additional Director of  Agriculture; and Mr Saroj Kanta Das, Deputy Director Agriculture (Pulses).

The project partners were Department of Agriculture and Food Production, Odisha; Odisha State Seed and Organic Product Certification Agency; and NGOs Sahabhagi Vikash Abhiyan, Loksebak, People’s Forum, Shramika Shakti Sangha and Centre for Social Action and Tribal Development.

The project is funded by the Government of Odisha under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana scheme and was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes.

Source: ICRISAT Happenings