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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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Farmers conducting participatory variety selection in Lundazi district in Zambia (Inset) ICEAP 00554. Photo: ICRISAT

New improved pigeonpea variety released in Zambia to withstand climate change

A new medium duration pigeonpea variety MPPV 2 (ICEAP 00554) was released for general cultivation in sole and intercropping systems of Zambia. The new variety has many profitable traits. It has wider climate adaptability and pest tolerance, high yield potential, attractive grains and is suitable to ratooning and can be used as green peas. Pigeonpea is gaining popularity in Zambia, due to its climate adaptability, suitability to prevailing cropping systems, farmers and consumers preference and market opportunities. MPPV 2 is…

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Securing incomes for women. A women farmers harvests chickpea in Ethiopia. Photo Swathi Sridharan, ICRISAT

High yielding and disease resistant chickpea varieties released in Ethiopia

The National Variety Release Committee (NVRC) announced the release of three new improved chickpea varieties with better yield, disease resistance (wilt, root rot and ascochyta blight) and early maturity for production inhigh altitude areas (1800-2800 m) of Ethiopia. This was the outcome of a research collaboration between International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and ICRISAT. The breeding lines for these varieties were provided by ICRISAT and ICARDA. Chickpea crop improvement…

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The Jipe Moyo farmer group believes improved groundnut variety Pendo sends more children to school, Kinaga, Kahama district.

Small farmers don’t give up on Pendo groundnut in Tanzania

Blog by Emmanuel Monyo. This blog first appeared on ICRISAT’s Agri-buzz Annual groundnut production in Tanzania doubled from 340,770 tons in 2008 to 810,000 tons in 2012, and smallholder farmers as part of the Tropical Legumes II project largely contributed to this growth. Smallholder farmers hold the key to agriculture all over the world, and it is no different in Tanzania. Here, the Jipe Moyo group (which means ‘don’t give up’) formed in 2011 as a savings and loans group,…

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Pigeonpea-ICPH2740 hybrid

Improved pigeonpea hybrid helps farmers fight drought in Maharashtra, India

Farmers in Maharashtra, India, are taking to pigeonpea hybrid ICPH 2740 in a big way to combat successive drought years. Despite the drought situation for last two cropping seasons in the state, ICPH 2740 yielded 2 to 3 tons per ha on farmers’ field. The hybrid is also helping farmers break decades-old stagnating yields. During 2014 and 2015 cropping season more than 30,000 ha was covered with the hybrid pigeonpea ICPH 2740. Farmers are also ready to invest in technologies…

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Expanding rice-lentil system in eastern Indian states

Together with its South Asian partners, ICARDA is pursuing the diversification of cereal-based production systems, adding legumes to the mix. In most of the project site of Morocco’s OCPF (Office Chérifien des Phosphates Foundation) and NFSM-P (National Food Security Mission – Pulses) in the eastern Indian states of West Bengal and Tripura, rice-fallow areas are now being cultivated with lentil and grasspea. This diversification strategy boosts national nutrition and food security, improves incomes and livelihoods in rural communities, and strengthens…

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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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Faba bean (green) and barley (partially harvested) planted on a highly degraded landscape Photo: ICARDA

A new faba bean variety replenishes soils and raises hope in Ethiopia

Farmers in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia are among the largest faba bean producers, but have all but lost hope in the crop. Ethiopian faba bean production was abandoned for over a decade due to low productivity as a result of disease and natural resource degradation. Farmers by dropping the crop from farming systems, were forced to fallow the land in order to maintain soil fertility for barley production. However, in North Shewa, farming communities see hope in the latest…

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Working towards release of drought tolerant and disease resistant groundnut varieties in Nigeria

With the aim of proposing best bet groundnut varieties for release by the National Agricultural Seed Council, multi-location trials were conducted for the 2015 cropping season at Minjibir, Gumel, Zango and Zaria in northern Nigeria. The screening was for rosette tolerance, aflatoxin resistance, foliar fungal disease resistance and drought tolerance. Along with national partners, the ICRISAT groundnut breeding team has been working on developing varieties that are early maturing; climate resilient; have high pod, haulm and oil yields; tolerant to…

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Participants at the field day. photo: C Ojiewo, ICRISAT

Ethiopian farmers try out new chickpea variety

At a field day organized at East Belessa, Gondar, to create awareness on Ejere, a chickpea variety that is new to the area, farmers expressed their interest to engage in seed production in the coming season after seeing its performance. The Habru variety, introduced earlier, had increased the productivity of chickpea in East Belessa District from an average of 0.6-0.7 t per ha (for the local variety) to 2.4 t per ha. To meet next year’s demand for seed, farmers…

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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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