Pigeonpea Hybrids

Pigeonpea yields have remained low in India over the past five decades and efforts to break this
plateau have failed. A non-conventional hybrid breeding approach that breaks the productivity barrier is the answer to India’s increasing pulse imports.

Farmers during the field visit to Agriculture Research Station in Tandur. Photo: ICRISAT

 

Interventions

  • A first-ever legume hybrid was developed for pigeonpea, using new breakthroughs in science.
  • New hybrids along with dedicated efforts to work with private industry have led to the seeds being commercially available
  • Identified male sterile sources and developed heterotic hybrid combinations with resistance to fusarium wilt and sterility mosaic disease
  • Parental lines shared with public and private partners to strengthen their efforts in hybrid breeding and to develop high-yielding hybrids for different agro-ecologies 
  • Seed production technology standardized to harvest appreciable quantities of hybrid seeds from the female parent
  • Three pigeonpea hybrids were released: ICPH 3762 in 2010 in Odisha; ICPH 3762 in 2014; and ICPH 2740 in 2015 in Telangana under the name Mannem Konda Kandi. 

Impacts 

  • 30-40% yield advantage in farmers’ fields under rainfed and irrigated ecosystems
  • 10 commercial hybrids (3 from the public sector and 7 from the private sector) being released in India
  • Area under cultivation increased from 40,000 ha (2013) to 127,000 ha (2015) due to collaborative efforts
  • 200,000 ha expected to be covered in 2016.

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