22 November 2013
No. 1598

Pigeonpea cultivation improves livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Rajasthan, India

(Left) A woman harvesting pigeonpea crop in her farm in Padasoli village. (Right) Anil Kumar Sharma, a 40-year-old farmer showing off his pigeonpea farm in Padasoli village. Photos: Sreeram Banda, ICRISAT

“I sow seeds but my farm gives me gold in return,” said Mr Anil Kumar Sharma from Lalwas village, Jaipur district, Rajasthan. The 40-year-old farmer was all smiles when people from nearby villages visited his farm in Padasoli to hear his success story.

Mr Sharma was among the 300 farmers who attended the farmers’ field day in Badua village, Rajasthan, India on 11 November, and is one among the 800 farmers in the region who have proven that farming can be profitable.

Aiming to further boost the livelihoods of the farmers, two dal mills in Padasoli and Lalwas were opened during the farmers’ field day, which will be used to process the pigeonpea produce, while an upcoming program to train women in weaving baskets out of dried stalks was announced.  

For three years now, Mr Sharma has been cultivating pigeonpea. “My uncle Ram Kalyan and I started pigeonpea cultivation in approximately 3 ha of land. The returns were good and we acquired more land. Now the farm has grown to 5 ha,” he adds. But the real success, as he puts it, came this year when they made a profit of nearly ` 350,000 (US$ 5,500). The pigeonpea produce is sold at ` 3,500 (US$55) per 100 kg.

“I will acquire more land, cultivate more and wish to inspire more,” he says.

Mr Rajendra Singh (Left) and Dr KB Saxena giving away awards to farmers at the farmers’ field day in Badua village. Photo: Sreeram Banda, ICRISAT

Until three years ago, frequent droughts and scanty rains troubled farmers in Rajasthan’s dry districts of Jaipur, Alwar, Dausa and Karoli. But, the introduction of ICRISAT’s early-maturing pigeonpea varieties to the region has transformed the lives of thousands of smallholder farmers.

More and more farmers are switching to pigeonpea cultivation from sorghum. The crop is now being cultivated in more than 800 ha land under the project “Enhancing the Livelihoods of Resource-poor Farmers of Rajasthan through the Introduction of Eco-Friendly Pigeonpea Varieties”, implemented by ICRISAT in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Station (ARS), Durgapura, Jaipur of the Swami Keshwanand Rajasthan Agricultural University.

“The ICRISAT team helped us in identifying the pigeonpea variety that grows well here. Since then there was no looking back for us. We have been using the ICPL 88039 variety and the results are exceptional,” says Mr Babulal Sharma, a farmer from Padasoli village. Babulal received the award for “most productive farmer (in less area)” at the farmers’ field day organized by ICRISAT. His 1-ha land managed to produce 1600 kg of pigeonpea this year.

For two years now, Urmila Devi, a 35-year-old woman farmer from Padasoli, witnessed a good yield of pigeonpea in her land. “In our culture, a woman here after her wedding takes along with her seeds to the groom’s place. It is to increase prosperity. For years, due to bad yield, we replaced seeds with money. But now, women here are taking along with them the seeds of pigeonpea hoping to change the fortunes of the family,” Urmila says.     

While pigeonpea is an affordable, protein rich food for the poor people in the area, the leaves and pod shell of the crop are also used to feed livestock, while the dried stalks are used as bio-fuel for cooking and other domestic purposes.
“The crop requires less water and less investment but the yield is good,” Dr KB Saxena, ICRISAT Principal Scientist (Pigeonpea) said while explaining the benefits of pigeonpea cultivation to the farmers from a nearby village.

Local women attending the farmers’ field day organized by ICRISAT in Badua village. Photo: Sreeram Banda, ICRISAT

Locals from Karauli, noting the success in the neighboring villages of Badua and Padasoli, were curious to know more about the pigeonpea cultivation, and the field day provided them the right opportunity to interact with the ICRISAT team.

“Around 805 ha in the region are under pigeonpea cultivation and a total of 161 clusters are involved in this effort. One cluster represents a group of 5 farmers,” says Dr SJ Singh, Principal Investigator and Scientist-in-Charge of ARS-Durgapura.

The noted ‘Jal Purush’ (Waterman of India), Mr Rajendra Singh attended the field day and interacted with farmers. The award-winning community leader shared his ideas on water harvesting and water management. He also appreciated the efforts of ICRISAT in the area, urging to extend the same encouragement and support to neighboring villages. “More villages taking to pigeonpea mean more prosperity,” he says.  

Drs KB Saxena and Rachit Kumar Saxena Scientist (Applied Genomics) led the ICRISAT team at Durgapura on the field visits. The activity was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes.

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Nigeria House of Representatives to strengthen partnership with ICRISAT

(L-R) Dr Hakeem Ajeigbe (ICRISAT Country Representative in Nigeria), Honorable Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Dr Farid Waliyar, Honorable Manir Babba Dan Agundi, and Dr Mahamadou Gandah (ICRISAT Country Representative in Niger) at the meeting in Abuja. Photo: A Diama, ICRISAT

“ICRISAT research mandate crops are grown in various parts of the country and eaten by everybody in this country. These crops are also important as source of revenues especially with regards to the great potential of their value chains. We are confident that ICRISAT is a very important partner to bring green revolution in Nigeria and we will partner and support ICRISAT in its research towards getting and improving access to high yielding varieties as well technologies to combat diseases and management practices for these crops,” said Mr Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Chair of the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, at a meeting with an ICRISAT delegation in Nigeria.

The ICRISAT team led by Dr Farid Waliyar, Director West and Central Africa, visited partners in Nigeria to further strengthen research collaboration, and on 13 November, met with members of the Committee on Agriculture. The committee members have visited the ICRISAT headquarters in India in 2012.

“We are honored to see the interest of the House of Representatives in what ICRISAT is doing,” said Dr Waliyar. Making a brief presentation on ICRISAT’s strategy and activities in the region, particularly in Nigeria, he spoke of ICRISAT’s partnerships with the Institute of Agricultural Research and the Lake Chad Research Institute under the umbrella of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC).

Members of the committee were keen to discuss existing training opportunities that ICRISAT could offer to support universities and agricultural research institutes in Nigeria. “Many students in Nigeria would like to be exposed to the kind of research that ICRISAT is doing,” the representatives said.

The members were also interested to learn more about ICRISAT’s watershed management program and its feasibility in Nigeria. “We have seen the watershed impact in India and think that ICRISAT could help in developing some models with their research partners in Nigeria. This technology can help improve lives of the rural people and therefore we are very supportive of a partnership between ICRISAT and the private sector, and farmers’ organizations in developing this watershed concept which will benefit the country a lot. We have seen numbers of farmers growing three crops a year with simple management practices, now building houses for their families and growing their businesses as benefit of this technology in India; the same can be done in Nigeria,” Mr Manir Babba Dan Agundi, Deputy Chairman, Committee on Agriculture, said.

Dr Baraka Sani, Kano State Commissioner for Agriculture (Left) with Dr Farid Waliyar. Photo: A Diama, ICRISAT

The members also urged ICRISAT to lend its support in developing a Center for Dryland Agriculture with Bayero University. “We are trying to see how we can bring the watershed initiative into West Africa with more funding and we would be happy to help in setting up the Center for Dryland Agriculture. Previous work done in Niger and Mali on millet and sorghum in improving resistance to diseases and the nutrition aspect of these crops could be of use,” Dr Waliyar said.

Dr Waliyar also updated the Members of Parliament with information on two major projects to be funded by the Federal Government in order to revitalize the sorghum value chain and rebuild the groundnut pyramids.

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Annual social scientists’ meet highlights integrating social dimension in research

Delegates at the Annual Social Scientists’ Meet conducted by the Research Program – Markets, Institutions and Policies at Mount Kenya in Nairobi. Photos: ICRISAT

The unique value of social scientists to ICRISAT’s research was emphasized during the Annual Social Scientists’ Meet conducted by the ICRISAT Research Program on Markets, Institutions and Policies at Mount Kenya in Nairobi on 10-12 November.

Speaking about the goals of the meeting, Dr Cynthia Bantilan, Research Program Director, Markets, Institutions and Policies said that the whole exercise would help in integrating social dimension in ICRISAT research; in unifying flagships of policies, institutions and markets research; and in exploring competencies and mapping them to flagship research themes in order to develop a shared framework.

The ultimate aim of the Program is to provide the knowledge base, social science technical inputs and research priority advice to ICRISAT in order to attract sustained investment in semi-arid topics agriculture in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.   

The Nairobi workshop provided a platform for participants to share ideas, concerns and plans in engaging ways. A critical interactive session focused on the development of a position paper on social science perspective on “How to make smallholder agriculture profitable and resilient”.

The meeting facilitated by Nancy White from Seattle, USA, who has been involved in CGIAR workshops and CGIAR Research Programs development, was highly interactive and learner-centric.

The discussions and exchange of ideas culminated in a synthesis of concrete learnings and tangible work plans in line with the goals of ICRISAT, the Research Program on Markets, Institutions and Policies, and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets.

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ICRISAT showcased ICT projects at ICT4AG International Conference

ICRISAT’s Knowledge Sharing and Innovation (KSI) showcased two of its ICT-mediated extension applications – the Krishi Gyan Sagar (KGS) and Krishi Vani (KV) – at the CGIAR Consortium exhibition during the ICT4AG International Conference held in Kigali, Rwanda on 4-8 November.

Both KGS and KV disseminate best practices and knowledge generated at ICRISAT and other partner research organizations. KGS is a tablet-mediated extension system and follows a ‘pull based approach’, in which farmers need to approach Farm Facilitators equipped with tablet-based Knowledge Base. KV, on the other hand, is a mobile mediated knowledge delivery platform in which information is sent to the mobiles of farmers directly as voice messages.

With the theme “We must take full advantage of ICT to boost not just agricultural production but the entire agricultural value chains”, the ICT4AG conference emphasized on the promotion of ICT application in the agricultural sector through inclusive value chains, enabling policies and advancing innovation. Dr Rosana P Mula, Coordinator – Learning Systems Unit (KSI), represented ICRISAT at the ICT exhibition.

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Training course prepares participants in ecosystem services and integrated watershed management

(L-R) Dr Rajesh Nune, Dr CLL Gowda, DG W Dar and Dr Wani at the valedictory program. Photo: PS Rao, ICRISAT

With the changing paradigm of sustainable production and ecosystem services, the Resilient Dryland Systems team of ICRISAT organized an international capacity building course on Ecosystem Services and Integrated Watershed Management . The two-week program was attended by 17 participants from five countries namely India, China, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia.

ICRISAT Director General William D. Dar, in his address at the plenary session, stressed on the importance of ecosystem services for sustainable development. He highlighted ICRISAT’s work in the area of “watershed management which helped in bridging the yield gaps for increasing the productivity and ensuring sustainability of natural resources like rainwater and land.”

The training programs covered, among others, topics on: concept of resilient agriculture and ecosystem services; biophysical characterization and various measurement techniques for quantifying ecosystem services; and ecosystem services and its policy.

In his message to the participants, Dr CLL Gowda, Deputy Director General for Research, stressed on the need for building networks and sharing of experiences with each other as well as with different institutes. Dr Suhas P Wani, Acting Research Program Director, Resilient Dryland Systems, highlighted the importance of different types of ecosystem services and the need for awareness among various stakeholders for appreciating the services provided by the dryland smallholder farmers in rainfed agriculture. 

Representatives from Senegal and India appreciated the efforts of ICRISAT in providing them the opportunity to get acquainted with the new emerging concept of ecosystem services and the need for adopting a holistic watershed development approach for achieving the impact on the ground.

Resource persons included experts from University of Florida, Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), Hyderabad; Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi; Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore; Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur; International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Centre Soil & Water Conservation Research & Training Institute (CSWCRTI), Dehradun; National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad, MANAGE and ICRISAT. Along with the lectures, the participants were provided with a hands-on experience to assess the ecosystem services at Adarsha Watershed, Kothapally, Andhra Pradesh.

The training course, held on 6-15 November at the ICRISAT headquarters in Patancheru, India, was organized under ICRISAT’s initiative for capacity building of partners and was coordinated by Dr Kaushal K Garg. The activity was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems.

Participants of the international course on ecosystem services and integrated watershed management. Photo: PS Rao, ICRISAT

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Top honor for Hari D Upadhyaya from the Crop Science Society of America

(L-R) Dr Rajesh Nune, Dr CLL Gowda, DG W Dar and Dr Wani at the valedictory program. Photo: PS Rao, ICRISAT

Dr Hari D Upadhyaya, Principal Scientist (Groundnut) and Head, Genebank, was honored with the prestigious Crop Science Research Award by the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) in an awarding ceremony held on 6 November in Tampa, Florida, USA. He was conferred the award for his significant and original basic and applied research contributions in crop science, excellence in creative reasoning and skills, and total impact of contributions on crop science, nationally and internationally.

Congratulating him for the achievement, Director General William D Dar said, “You have not only brought honor to yourself but also to ICRISAT. We are proud of you. This recognition is a testament to your solid science achievements.”

Dr MS Swaminathan, father of the Green Revolution in India, sent a congratulatory message to Dr Upadhyaya which read, “I congratulate you on this very prestigious award. They represent a well-deserved appreciation of your monumental scientific contributions”.

Dr Upadhyaya, a practical plant breeder, developed a large number of early-maturing, high-yielding, drought tolerant, and diseases and aflatoxin contamination resistant groundnut breeding lines. Several of these lines had desirable combination of traits that are useful to the farmers and have been released as cultivars in countries of Asia, Africa and Oceania, where these are cultivated in large areas benefiting farmers immensely.

Dr Upadhyaya’s work on germplasm is known across the world. He postulated the “mini core” (1% of entire collection) concept which is now an International Public Good and has captured the imagination of scientists around the world as a gateway to exploit genetic diversity in the large germplasm collections.

He and scientists from the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) have used mini core collections to identify trait specific, genetically diverse, and agronomically superior parental lines in the ICRISAT mandate crops (chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut, sorghum, and pearl millet) and finger and foxtail millets for use by the plant breeders. This has resulted in greater use of germplasm in developing high-yielding broad-based cultivars.

Some of the stalwarts in crop science whom Dr Upadhyaya admires and have been awarded the Crop Science Research Award included: George F Sprague (1957), Robert W Allard (1964), Jack R Harlan (1971), Charles O Gardner (1978), Arnel R Hallauer (1981), Ronald N Phillips (1988), Kenneth J Frey (1993), and Steve A Eberhart (1994).

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Young Crop Scientist Award conferred to Rajeev Varshney

Dr R Varshney with Dr Cal Qualset (emeritus) from the University of California. Photo: ICRISAT

Dr Rajeev Varshney, Research Program Director – Grain Legumes, was conferred the 2013 Young Crop Scientist Award by the prestigious Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) in Tampa, Florida, USA.

Professor Mark Brick, President, CSSA, presented the award at the joint Annual Meeting of three leading societies of America including CSSA, Soil Science Society of America (SSA) and American Society of Agronomy (ASA). The Annual Meeting was attended by more than 3000 scientists and policy makers from US and other parts of the world.
Dr Varshney became the first Indian to receive this award for his outstanding contribution in the area of crop genomics and molecular breeding.

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Field investigators trained on census surveys with focus on gender, nutrition and institutions

Participants of the training program.Photo: PS Rao, ICRISAT

The second round of capacity building as part of the “Women’s empowerment in rural south Asia: Microlevel evidences on institutions, labor participation and food security” project focused on issues related to gender, nutrition and institutions.

Under this project, a training program was held for field investigators and supervisors to strengthen capacity in conducting census surveys on social networks, occupational structure of labor and community driven development.

Twenty participants from eight villages were exposed to the challenge of data collection from each individual in the entire village. Hands-on experiential sessions were held to make them more confident in their work and collect quality data.

Among those who trained the field investigators were Drs Padmaja Ravula, A Amarender Reddy, N Nagaraj, Madhusudan Bhattarai, Uttam Kumar Deb from the Research Program – Markets, Institutions and Policies, with its Director, Dr MCS Bantilan, giving the inspirational message to the participants.

The activity was held at the ICRISAT headquarters on 18-20 November 2013 as part of the project supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets.

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Opportunities for public-private partnership for sustainable management of ground water explored

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) held a high-level conference on “The Challenges of Sustainable Management of Ground Water in India” on 20 November at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, with emphasis on public private partnership in the area of ground water management.

Fifty participants representing the Planning Commission, Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Water Resources along with research institutions like ICRISAT and several private industries participated in the workshop.

Dr Mihir Shah, Member of Planning Commission, Government of India, delivered the keynote address and stressed on the need for a partnership between the government and private companies in managing ground water resources in the country.

Two panel discussions were held on the topic: “Learnings from Innovative Initiatives in Sustainable Management of Ground Water” and “Convergence of Public & Private Programmes for Ground Water Sustainability”.

Dr Suhas P Wani, Acting Research Program Director, Resilient Dryland Systems, ICRISAT, chaired the panel discussions and also presented a thematic address on the topic “Opportunities for Public-Private Partnership for Sustainable Management of Ground Water” during the session on “Convergence of Public & Private Programmes for Ground Water Sustainability”.

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Training on biometrics and bioinformatics tools in crop improvement held in Kenya

Participants of the training program in Nairobi, Kenya Photo: ICRISAT

“The application of biometrics and bioinformatics is essential for crop improvement,” said Dr William D Dar, ICRISAT Director General, speaking at opening of a six-day training program held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 4-9 November.

The training program was aimed at building capacity of ICRISAT and the National Agricultural Research and Extension System (NARES) scientists, technicians and research scholars in the use of statistical analysis methods, bioinformatics and data management software to ensure soundness of deliverables and to improve quality of research and reporting.

Twenty participants representing 12 countries including Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Eritrea, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda were trained on appropriate analyzing and interpretation of the results.

Several aspects of efficient experimental designing including generation and analysis of replicated and non-replicated trials, mixed models, data cleaning, curation, appropriate statistical analysis and interpretation, were explained to the participants.

A field visit to ICRISAT experimental fields at the University of Nairobi was also organized for participants to understand practical aspects of experimental design.

Participants on a field visit to ICRISAT’s experimental fields at the University of Nairobi. Photo: ICRISAT

At the event, Dr Dar spoke about ICRISAT’s mission to fight hunger and elevate livelihoods of poor farmers working in semi-arid tropics of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Moses Siambi, Director, Eastern and Southern Africa, explained the role of efficient biometrics & bioinformatics in plant breeding to the participants, while Dr Rosana P Mula, LSU Coordinator, briefed the participants about various training opportunities at ICRISAT. Dr Abhishek Rathore, Course Coordinator, emphasized on how the efficiency of experiments could be enhanced using good field designs.

The resource persons included: ICRISAT’s Drs Abhishek Rathore, Trushar M Shah, Ganga Rao, Ms Roma Rani Das, Mr T Praveen Reddy, and Mr PVNS Prasad; from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi, Dr Anja Gassner; and from the Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, New Delhi, Dr Sanjeev Panwar. The training program was organized by the Biometrics and Bioinformatics Unit and Learning Systems Unit (LSU).

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Feasibility for commercializing groundnut postharvest machinery in Zambia assessed

Participants of the CRS scoping study on the commercialization of groundnut postharvest machinery in Zambia. Photo: ICRISAT

The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) along with ICRISAT conducted a scoping study to assess the feasibility of commercializing groundnut postharvest machinery in Zambia, from 28 October to 6 November. CRS received a grant under Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation cooperative agreement to scope the commercial pilot-testing of Compatible Technology International’s (CTI) suite of groundnut post-harvesting tools in the country.

ICRISAT has a rich experience in working with CTI in Malawi, piloting the suite of groundnut tools, and recently introducing the same tools to some smallholders in Zambia under the USAID-funded I-FINITE project. The suite of CTI tools includes a lifter, stripper, sheller, and grinder. Through appropriate use of these tools, the team anticipates potential of reduced labor burden and time, particularly for women, and increased quality of groundnuts for markets and consumption, which is expected to induce an increase in area, production, and thus sales income from groundnut.

The scoping study was conducted in Chipata and Lundazi districts, Eastern Province, by a team comprised of Dr Takuji Tsusaka and Mr Lorent Gondwe (ICRISAT-Malawi), Mr Wes Meier (Engineer, CTI), Ms Sarah Illingworth (Agricultural Specialist, CRS), and Mr Lameck Simwanza (Women for Change, Mawa, CRS). The study’s aim was to: (1) propose production and distribution options for reaching potential users; (2) map and characterize business stakeholders along the supply chain; and (3) clarify the value proposition for potential purchasers of the technology.

Meetings among team members prior to the in-country work were held at CRS Chipata Office to refine the study design. The team interviewed supply chain actors in Chipata and Lundazi districts, including Mr Yusuf M Patel (Managing Director, Sheni Agric Supplies), as well as conducted gender-disaggregated focus group discussions with smallholder farmers in Kamutemeni community.

The study resulted in rich information on the following topics related to the commercialization of the suite of groundnut tools: (1) market size and opportunity: the potential size of the market; (2) the number and locations of groundnut producers; (3) potential competitors and/or substitute products; (4) organizations providing agricultural tools to smallholder farmers; (5) potential options and costs for manufacturing the quality tools and replacement parts for sustainable operation; (6) possible distribution options from point of entry in Zambia to smallholder farmers in Eastern Province; (7) strategies for creating awareness of and demand for the tools by users and other organizations that support smallholder farmers, including NGOs, traders, producer groups and government; (8) smallholders’ ability and interest to purchase the tools; and (9) opportunities and existing infrastructure of micro-finance to the potential client.

ICRISAT particularly took note of the following observations: (1) Eastern Province as a whole is heading toward conservation agriculture by strong leadership by the government, though the penetration is still extremely low and the speed of dissemination is very slow; (2) there are cases where women farmers collectively transport harvest of groundnut by traveling one hour to town to sell it at a trader outlet, though the price is non-negotiable; (3) it is observed that male farmers often do not provide true answers to gender sensitive questions, thus it is confirmed that men and women should be separately interviewed in gender related surveys in the future.

The finalized study report will be available from CRS after incorporating feedback from ICRISAT.

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Digitalization of crop breeding initiated in grain legumes

DG William D Dar speaking on “digitalization” of crop breeding. Also seen in the picture is Dr Rajeev Varshney. Photo: PS Rao, ICRISAT
Dr Dar giving away a Samsung tablet to Dr KB Saxena, ICRISAT Principal Scientist (Pigeonpea).
Photo: PS Rao, ICRISAT

With an objective to enhance the precision and efficiency in breeding programs in more effective manner, the ICRISAT Research Program on Grain Legumes has initiated “digitalization” of crop breeding.

Congratulating the scientists and managers of the Program, ICRISAT Director General William Dar said, “We are marking today the transition of ICRISAT’s breeding program to the next level. We are going away with tools of the past and embracing the tools of the digital age. It is very important for us at ICRISAT, as the lead center of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and on Dryland Cereals, to enhance genetic gain in the breeding programs of our mandate crops and other partners by embracing modernization of breeding programs,” he added.

Dr Dar also stated that “Integrating three ecosystems (genomics, phenomics and bioinformatics) is the need of the hour to take crop improvement programs to the next level.”

Dr Rajeev Varshney, Research Program Director – Grain Legumes, said, “These days breeding is not a solitary discipline, it has become an interdisciplinary science. Modern breeding includes other allied disciplines such as phenotyping science that includes physiology, entomology, pathology; genome biology that includes genomics and genetic engineering and informatics analysis that comprises biometrics and bioinformatics together with classical breeding.”

Tablets (Samsung) and Toughbooks (Panasonic) were given away to different units in chickpea; groundnut; pigeonpea breeding, genebank, genomics, biometrics, Eastern and Southern Africa locations including Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia and West and Central Africa locations.

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Showcasing pre- and post-harvest management options for aflatoxin management

Drs Farid Waliyar and Hakeem Ajeigbe with seed producers during a visit to ICRISAT testing plot on mini cores for resistance to aflatoxin. (Right) A woman displaying her seed processing equipment to participants during the field day. Photos: A Diama, ICRISAT
At the Rahama Integrated Farms Ltd, a company involved in seed processing, rice milling and providing general agricultural services. Photo: A Diama, ICRISAT

About 320 participants from Kano State, Nigeria, took part in a farmers’ field day organized by ICRISAT Nigeria on 15 November at the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR).

Dr Hakeem Ajeigbe, ICRISAT Country Representative, in his welcome address, emphasized on the on-farm management of aflatoxin. “It is an important step in making groundnut a cash crop and in increasing exports,” he said.

Dr Farid Waliyar, ICRISAT Director for West and Central Africa, also emphasized on the pre- and post-harvest management options for aflatoxin management in improving the quality of products, thus enhancing access to markets as well better household consumption.

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