A series of capacity building programs were held as part of the newly-sanctioned four-year project ‘Promotion of improved chickpea varieties in rice-based cropping system of smallholder farmers in the Indian state of Odisha’.

The objective of the project, which started in October 2014, is to introduce drought-resistant chickpea lines in the rice-fallow cropping system where irrigation is not possible. The emphasis is on seed production and delivery systems.

Four training programs to educate farmers on cultural management against pests and diseases affecting chickpea were held during 10-13 March. About 205 participants, comprising 186 smallholder seed growers (24 women), district agriculture technicians and NGO staff attended the training.

For the 2014-2015 cropping season, a total of 245 ha were devoted to seed production of various seed class of chickpea. The project covers 8,000 ha in three districts namely Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sundergarh.

The scientists also monitored 127 ha of seed production areas in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts where four varieties – JAKI 9218, JG 14, KAK 2 and Vihar – of different seed classes are grown.

Adapted from ICRISAT Happenings