Taking Pigeonpea Hybrids to the Doorsteps of Farmers under National Food Security Mission (NFSM)

Published on 1 April 2011

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Start Date: 1 April 2007 | End Date: 31 March 2012

Overview

In India pigeonpea is cultivated in a range of agro-ecological conditions, accordingly the varietal requirements are also diverse. For example in north-west plains shortduration (4 months), in central/southern India medium-duration (6 months), and in north-east plains long-duration (9 months) varieties are adapted. For obvious reasons the biotic and abiotic stresses in these regions are also different. Therefore, to harness the maximum gains we need to develop high-yielding hybrids for each major agroecology and it would be possible when in each group we develop quality hybrid parents with high combing ability, disease resistance, and adaptability. In this project, therefore, our effort will be to develop hybrids with significant genetic and cytoplasmic diversity to suit different production niches and cropping systems. This will be achieved in active collaboration with Agricultural Universities located in different parts of the country. We will also join hands with advanced biotechnology laboratories to conduct basic research on specialized issues such mapping of fertility restorer genes, laboratory based grow-out quality tests etc. We would also like to involve public Seed Laboratories to develop seed quality standards for hybrid pigeonpea. The sharing of knowledge and materials with public and private institutions in the country will help in taking this technology to the farmers. To make hybrid seed available to the farmers at reasonable costs we also propose to develop hybrid pigeonpea seed villages in participation with young farmers.

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