No. 1396 8 January 2010

Medak farmer reaps bumper yield with ICRISAT hybrid

watershed development training program KB Saxena, C Srinivas, Janardhan Mudiraj and MV Sudhakar with the bumper crop in Choutakur.

Gongloor Janardhan Mudiraj is a very happy man. He has done Choutakur village of Medak district proud by his pioneering move to diversify and increase crop production.

In a village that has seen frequent crop failures, Janardhan dared to grow pigeonpea instead of the traditional cotton. He searched for the best and zeroed in on ICRISAT’s hybrid pigeonpea, ICPH 2671. Janardhan followed the advice of ICRISAT scientists and the district extension officials and meticulously tended to the crop as per their directions.

His efforts resulted in a bumper crop, ready to yield a minimum of 12-15 quintals per acre from all the 14 acres of land he set aside for pigeonpea. Janardhan’s magic formula was two kilograms of seed per acre and a spacing of 7 feet between rows and one foot between plants. He sowed the crop in June 2009 without applying any fertilizer and undertook two weeding exercises since then. He sprayed insecticide four times in the cropping season for the best control of insect pests.

According to Janardhan, the increase in the yield in this hybrid is because of its vigor and the profusion of branches. Confirming the record yield, J Ramchandar Rao, agricultural officer of Pulkal mandal (a mandal is a subdivision of a district) said that the average yield of pigeonpea had never crossed 8 quintals per acre in the mandal despite the hard work of the farmers. Janardhan too is very proud and impressed with the crop and thanked the ICRISAT pigeonpea team including KB Saxena, R Vijaya Kumar and Chandra Shekar, J Ramchandar Rao and Srinivas from the Department of Agriculture, Sangareddy, for their timely advice and frequent visits at different stages of the crop growth. He also thanked the National Seed Corporation officials Ramesh, Sudhakar and SP Singh for supplying the hybrid seed.

Readers will recall that this particular hybrid of pigeonpea, named Pushkal, was released for commercialization by ICRISAT and a Private-Sector partner Pravardhan Seeds on 15 July 2008 in Hyderabad.

The news of the bumper yield has spread, and a large number of farmers from neighboring villages and mandals are visiting Janardhan’s farm and enthusiastically inquiring about the hybrid and the package and practices of pigeonpea farming. Janardhan’s pigeonpea farm has also found prominent mention in the vernacular press, particularly the Eenadu daily.

This is a truly auspicious beginning of the new year. Congratulations to everyone involved in this success.

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ICRISAT participates in Kisan-2009

ICRISAT participated and showcased the Agri-Science Park (ASP), Agri-Business Incubator (ABI) and Network of Indian Agri-Business Incubators (NIABI) at the Kisan-2009 exhibition held in Pune from 14 to 18 December. Kisan-2009 is one of the largest Indian agricultural exhibitions organized by Kisan Forum Pvt. Ltd. Aravazhi Selvaraj and Luke Talari represented ABI at the exhibition.

iMAS training program in Nairobi
ICRISAT stall at the Kisan-2009 exhibition in Pune.

More than 500 people visited ICRISAT’s stall and showed interest in ASP and its components. They were keen on ABI initiatives such as seed, farm, agri-biotech and biofuel ventures. The exhibition has generated business leads and proved to be a good platform for incubating new ventures in Maharashtra state. The seed business venture currently being operated in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu was of interest to many farmers and similar programs were expected to be initiated in Maharashtra for the benefit of farmers as well as entrepreneurs.

NIABI succeeded in attracting the attention of a large number of visitors. ICRISAT’s initiative to help entrepreneurs and innovators through facilitating commercialization of technologies and services of the NARS partners was widely appreciated by the visitors. This network includes 10 recently established Business Planning and Development units of leading institutions of Indian Council for Agricultural Research and state agricultural universities.

Kisan means “farmer” in Hindi. More than 200,000 people, mainly farmers, visited the exhibition. They were keen to learn about the new techniques, latest developments and opportunities in the field of agriculture. Around 160 exhibitors, including agricultural equipment manufacturers, fertilizer and pesticide companies, international consultancies, R&D organizations and micro irrigation manufacturers took part in the exhibition.

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