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‘Pulses Panchayat’: It takes a village to change the country

Urmila Pujari belongs to the Bhumia tribe of eastern state of Orissa in India, a culturally rich and one of the largest tribes in India. The tribe practices agriculture as its primary occupation, with very few farmers cultivating pulses (food legumes). Urmila’s village of Bhejaguda is one the 28 tribal villages that has been brought into the folds of ‘Pulses Panchayat’, a bold and innovative movement that aims to revolutionize India’s pulses production. India’s pulses sector has been much in…

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pigeonpea-milling

Accelerating pulse production in southern India

Pulse farmers across two south Indian states, Telangana and Karnataka are being exposed to new technologies, varieties, hybrids and innovations in agronomic practices, for improving productivity and thus contributing to the Indian national program of attaining self-sufficiency in pulses. During a recent project review meeting, partners discussed challenges in the seed supply chain, technology uptake by farmers, scale-up challenges, need for developing standardized protocols for agronomic practices, need for mechanization and other issues faced on field and shared work plans…

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Combine harvester at work – harvesting the new chickpea variety. Photos: PS Rao, ICRISAT

First machine harvestable chickpea variety – Boon for farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India

Imagine 2.25 tons of chickpea harvested in just 75 minutes! The process (including cutting and threshing) would normally take three days. This is made possible due to the breeding of a taller chickpea variety that can be harvested by standard machinery. The chickpea variety, NBeG 47, is the first machine harvestable variety released in Andhra Pradesh suitable for the state’s variable climate. This development was demonstrated recently in a farmer’s field in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district showing how farmers can…

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pigeonpea-milling

Molecular breeding provides good results for pigeonpea

Various products such as hybrid purity testing kits, markers for disease resistance and enhancing yield and yield-related traits, novel populations for bringing new alleles/combinations in future pigeonpea hybrids/varieties are some of the important outputs of the USAID-funded project ‘Pigeonpea improvement using molecular breeding’. Information on the 11 products developed during Phase I of the project was shared with stakeholders at a recent workshop, at ICRISAT-India. Dr Bahiru Duguma, Director, Food Security Office, USAID, mentioned that USAID was keen on this…

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Groundnut varieties to meet confectionery and food market demands

There is an urgent need to develop and deploy groundnut varieties to suit the needs of the confectionery and food industry. Developing varieties with market-preferred traits will enable enhanced livelihoods and profits to stakeholders of the groundnut value chain. The panel discussion at the Industries Interface Meeting of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) brought out important issues requiring research inputs. Besides aflatoxin contamination, other quality aspects such as uniform size of kernel, blanchability, long shelf-life, high oleate and…

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Seed sorting of lentil by women

Reviewing the performance of wheat and legume varieties in Tunisia

A ‘travelling workshop’ in Tunisia recently visited on-farm demonstration sites of an ICARDA-managed initiative to strengthen the performance of wheat-legume production systems across North Africa and West Asia. Funded by the European Union and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the project is introducing a package of technologies, interventions and improved high-yielding varieties of food legumes and wheat. The workshop brought together farmers, Ministry of Agriculture officials and scientists from national research institutions to observe the progress of crop…

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Brainstorming with partners on future strategies for pigeonpea research in India

At a recent event ‘Brainstorming Session on Pigeonpea Research – Current Status & Future Strategies for India,’ held at ICRISAT-India, partner institutes like the Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), Kanpur and other collaborating institutes  came together to discuss the future strategy for pigeonpea research in India. During the inaugural session, Dr CLL Gowda, Deputy Director General-Research, ICRISAT, shared that the modernization of pigeonpea breeding, using tools of Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP), will soon be made available to national partners.…

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Pigeonpea improves women’s participation and enhances livelihoods

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’…

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Improved groundnut variety released in India

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…

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Pigeonpea cultivation improving livelihoods of farmers in Odisha, India

Pigeonpea farmers in the Indian state of Odisha are experiencing a significant 70% increase in yield by using improved varieties over the traditional landrace. This in turn has resulted in about 90% increase in income levels. In the past year, a total of 620,000 kg of various certified seeds of farmer preferred varieties and hybrids were produced from the seed production component of the project ‘Introduction and Expansion of Improved Pigeonpea Production Technology in Rainfed Upland Ecosystem of Odisha’ funded…

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Grain Legumes

Grain Legumes is a partnership among four CGIAR Research Institutes: ICRISAT as lead center, CIAT, ICARDA and IITA, along with several public and private institutes and organizations, governments, and farmers worldwide.

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