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Pigeonpea breeding challenges in East and South Africa: Genomics the way out

The challenges to breeding pigeonpea in East and South Africa can be surmounted by the use of advanced tools such as genomics, combining the crop’s unique attributes from different regions, mentoring youth, and exploiting export markets within Africa.

By Dr Damaris A Odeny, Scientist – Biotechnology (ESA), Genomics & Trait Discovery, Genetic Gains Program, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

Pre-breeding funding key to pulse revolution

Unrestricted and assured funding for pre-breeding activities can exploit new and diverse sources of variation in the chickpea and pigeonpea genepools. By bridging the huge gap between the collection of genetic materials and that utilized, it is possible to bring about a pulse revolution in these times of climate change.

By Dr Shivali Sharma , Theme Leader – Pre-breeding, Genetic Gains Program, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

Farmer access to varieties is crucial

Pulse researchers need to focus on reaching farmers and increasing their incomes rather than only on increasing productivity. Biofortification is another area that should be explored to deal with nutritional deficiencies among children in India, as well as developing need-based varieties.

By Dr K Ramasamy , Vice Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

Tapping into Eastern India’s rice fallows can bridge the country’s pulse productivity gap

The shortfall in pulse production in India can be achieved by tapping into nearly 6-7million hectares of rice fallows in Eastern India. For this to happen, the risk averse smallholder farmers in this region need policy and technology support. Exposure to rural entrepreneurship and encouraging farmer producer organizations will help in the long run.

By Ranjit Kumar , Principal Scientist, Theme on Policy and Impact Asia Region Program, International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)


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22 M tons
Pulse consumption in India per annum
223,000 ha
Area grown to pigeonpea in Telangana

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