Introduction of Improved Pigeonpea Production Technology (IPPT) in the state of Odisha, India, has increased women’s participation by 34%, more than doubled net incomes from ₹5,019 per ha to ₹11,941 per ha, and enhanced productivity from 522 kg per ha for the landraces to 764 kg per ha for the improved varieties. Around 26,827 smallholder farmers, including 1,947 women, benefited from ICRISAT’s interventions.

The project ‘Introduction and Expansion of Improved Pigeonpea (Arhar) Production Technology in Rainfed Upland Ecosystems of Odisha’ funded by the Department of Agriculture and Food Production, Government of Odisha, India, through the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) is implemented by ICRISAT and was launched in August 2011. It is currently being implemented in five districts in the state – Rayagada, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Nuapada and Boudh. During the 3-year project period the benefit gained was ₹ 406 million against the total investment of ₹ 72.6 million, an increase of more than 400%. A spillover effect was also observed wherein farmers outside the intervention districts also adopted the technology.

In order to enhance the value chain, three village-level dal mills (including polisher and generator) and three spiral seed cleaners were supplied; and seed storage facilities enhanced with the construction of a 25 ton warehouse at Rayagada and a 100 ton warehouse at Kalahandi.

The ‘Krishi Karman Award for Progressive Farmers’ bestowed by President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee, on Mr Pradip Kumar Panda a farmer from Raygada, is a testimony to the success of the project. This award, given on 10 February 2014, is a first for Odisha particularly in pigeonpea cultivation.

The project increased women’s participation especially in the districts of Bolangir and Nuapada. Obtaining better yield enhanced the interest of women farmers in pigeonpea cultivation. The tribal communities in Rayagada considered the project as an entry point for greater participation of women. Farmers felt that technologies like line sowing and improved seed storage production resulted in greater participation of women especially among tribal women.

A delegation of RKVY officials visited ICRISAT on 11-14 August to review the progress of the project. Expressing satisfaction over the project activities, the officials sought ICRISAT’s assistance in enhancing pigeonpea and chickpea cultivation in the state.

This activity was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes.

Source: ICRISAT Happenings