Feature Stories


Partnerships for better results

Just ahead of the forthcoming cropping season, detailed road maps were created for a synergized work plan to increase production and productivity of groundnut and cowpea in Nigeria. During a...
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Dr Rajeev K Varshney with award of recognition for leadership and contributions to peanut research, during the 9th AAGB in Cordoba, Argentina.  Photo: Dr Baozhu Guo

Dr Rajeev K Varshney with award of recognition for leadership and contributions to peanut research, during the 9th AAGB in Cordoba, Argentina. Photo: Dr Baozhu Guo

Dr Rajeev K Varshney, Research Program Director, Genetic Gains, ICRISAT, was recognized and felicitated for his leadership in the development and application of genomic tools and pipelines that facilitate sequence-based breeding methods for improvement of Arachis cultivars. The award was presented by The Peanut Genome Consortium and the International Peanut Genome Initiative (IPGI) during the 9th Advances in Arachis through Genomics & Biotechnology (AAGB) meeting held in Cordoba, Argentina, during 14-17 March.

IPGI is a multinational group of crop geneticists with 39 scientists from 26 organizations in six countries engaged in the groundnut genome sequencing project.


Auditing the auditors

ICRISAT Internal Audit team with external auditors Mr Deepak Wadhawan and Mr S Bhaskar.  Photo: M Ramalingeswara Rao

ICRISAT Internal Audit team with external auditors Mr Deepak Wadhawan and Mr S Bhaskar. Photo: M Ramalingeswara Rao

ICRISAT became the first CGIAR center to successfully undergo a Quality Assurance Review (QAR) of its Internal Audit department in December 2016. The review was conducted by The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), a global professional body for internal audit practice. QAR is required to be performed by all internal audit functions once in five years in order to be eligible to certify themselves as conforming to the IIA’s international professional practice standards. These standards are very detailed and evaluate the audit function on various aspects, such as independence and objectivity, proficiency and due professional care, managing the internal audit activity, and the IIA Code of Ethics. The review was performed by Mr Deepak Wadhawan, Chief Executive, IIA, and Mr S Bhaskar, an independent validator with rich internal audit experience, under the leadership of Mr TN Menon, erstwhile Head of Internal Audit, ICRISAT.

ICRISAT’s CSR partnerships on watersheds

Water is the driving force of all nature.” –  Leonardo DaVinci

ICRISAT, with its CSR partners, has strived to provide low-cost and effective solutions for increasing water-use efficiency and conservation in seven Indian states. March 22 being World Water Day, we bring you a short video ‘ICRISAT’s CSR partnerships on watersheds’, to underscore the importance of conserving this precious natural resource. Click here to view the video.

New publications

Dietary Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes: How Millet Comes to Help

Authors: Kam J, Puranik S, Yadav R, Manwaring HR,
Pierre S, Srivastava RK and Yadav RS

Published: 2016. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7 (1454): 01-14. ISSN 1664-462X

Abstract: Diabetes has contributed toward 1.5 million deaths in 2012. Management techniques for diabetes, beside medication, are mainly through changes in lifestyle and dietary regulation. Particularly, diet can have a great influence on life quality. This review aims to give an overview on the general consensus of current dietary and nutritional recommendation for diabetics. In light of such recommendation, the use of plant breeding, conventional as well as more recently developed molecular marker-based breeding and biofortification, are discussed in designing crops with desired characteristics. The potential of millets as a dietary component to combat the increasing prevalence of global diabetes are highlighted in this review.


Structural approaches to modeling the impact of climate change and adaptation technologies on crop yields and food security

Authors: Islam S, Cenacchi N, Sulser TB, Gbegbelegbe S, Hareau G, Kleinwechter U, Mason-D’Croz D, Nedumaran S, Robertson R, Robinson S and Wiebe K

Published: 2016. Global Food Security, 10 (-): 63-70. ISSN 22119124

Abstract: Achieving and maintaining global food security is challenged by changes in population, income, and climate, among other drivers. Assessing these threats and weighing possible solutions requires a robust multidisciplinary approach. One such approach integrates biophysical modeling with economic modeling to explore the combined effects of climate stresses and future socioeconomic trends, thus providing a more accurate picture of how agriculture and the food system may be affected in the coming decades. We review and analyze the literature on this structural approach and present a case study that follows this methodology, explicitly modeling drought and heat tolerant crop varieties.


Assessment of Diversity in Commercial Hybrids of Pearl Millet in India

Authors: Yadav OP, Rai KN, Yadav HP, Rajpurohit PS, Gupta SK, Rathore A and Karjagi CG

Published: 2016. Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources, 29 (02): 130-136. ISSN 0971-8184

Abstract: Availability of diverse cultivars is essential in order to meet necessity of regional adaptation to various climatic conditions and to fulfil the farmers’ need of differential preference of various phenotypic traits in pearl millet. The present study attempted to quantify the degree of diversity in commercial hybrids of pearl millet and to understand the relationship among various phenotypic and quality traits. Taller hybrids provided higher yield. Hybrids with lesser duration and shorter height produced more tillers and tillering decreased with the increase in panicle length. The correlation of grain yield with Fe and Zn concentration in grains was not significant suggesting that both these micronutrients can be improved without significantly compromising on grain yield.


Genetic architecture of open-pollinated varieties of pearl millet for grain iron and zinc densities

Authors: Kanatti A, Rai KN, Radhika K and Govindaraj M

Published: 2016. Indian Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding, 76 (03): 299-303. ISSN 0019-5200

Abstract: Genetic architecture of two commercial open-pollinated varieties of pearl millet for grain iron and zinc densities was studied for two seasons. Results showed predominantly additive genetic variance and nonsignificant additive gene effect × environment interaction variance compared to large and significant dominance × environment interaction variance for both micronutrients in both populations. These results, and highly significant and positive correlation observed between Fe and Zn densities, and non-significant correlations of these micronutrients with grain weight suggest that simultaneous selection for Fe and Zn densities in these populations can be effectively made without compromising the grain size.


Combining soil fertilization, cropping systems and improved varieties to minimize climate risks on farming productivity in northern region of Burkina Faso

Authors: Sanou J, Bationo BA, Barry S, Nabie LD, Bayala J and Zougmore R

Published: 2016. Agriculture & Food Security, 05 (20): 01-12. ISSN 2048-7010

Abstract: A trial combining fertilization and improved varieties of millet and cowpea (intercropped or as sole crop) was conducted on three sites in the northern region of Burkina Faso. During the third season a survey was conducted on the acceptability by farmers of the tested combinations as a way of buffering or coping with rainfall variability. The two-year trial revealed that the combination of manure and NPK applied to the intercropping of millet and cowpea significantly increased crop production. Making weather forecasts and related agronomic advices available to farmers in this region will allow them to better plan their agricultural practices such as mineral fertilizer application and will also be a great move toward climate-smart agriculture.


Impact of MGNREGA on Rural Agricultural Wages, Farm Productivity and Net Returns: An Economic Analysis across SAT Villages

Authors: Nagaraj N, Bantilan C, Pandey L and Roy NS

Published: 2016. Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 71 (02): 176-190. ISSN 0019-5014

Abstract: This study assessed the impacts of MGNREGA on labour scarcity, wages, cost of production and the linkages among wage rates in agriculture and non-agriculture employment. The study is based on field data of the semi-arid villages from Telangana and Maharashtra states under Village Dynamic Studies in South Asia (VDSA). The results reveal that the real wages for farm and nonfarm works exhibited upward trend especially after implementation of MGNREGA in both the states. The average daily wage rate of male farm worker has grown sharply after MGNREGA in both the states compared to almost negative growth rate of before MGNREGA.


Perspectives in restoration: storage and pretreatments of seeds for better germination of Sudanian savanna-woodland species

Authors: Dayamba SD, Savadogo P, Diawara S and Sawadogo L

Published: 2016. Journal of Forestry Research, 27 (04): 773-778. ISSN 1007-662X

Abstract: Insufficient knowledge of the germination ecology of local species is one of the main constraints to restoration of degraded rural lands. We tested seeds from 14 Sudanian savanna species targeted for restoration for their response to two different pretreatments (conventional and prolonged acid pretreatments) and two different storage conditions (ambient room conditions and refrigerator at 4°C). For six of the studied species, longer soaking in sulphuric acid significantly improved germination rates and also reduced the germination time of some species. Storage condition, in general did not affect germination rates except for two species where cool storage depressed germination.


Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Cereal Production: Implications for Sustainable Agriculture in Northern Ghana

Authors: Bawayelaazaa NA, Donkor E, Aidoo R, Saaka BS, Naab J, Nutsugah S, Bayala J and Zougmoré R

Published: 2016. Sustainability, 08 (08): 01-17. ISSN 2071-1050

Abstract: This paper investigates the economic impacts of climate change on cereal crop production in Northern Ghana using 240 households comprising maize and sorghum farmers. The results indicated that early season precipitation was beneficial for sorghum, but harmful for maize. However, mid-season precipitation tended to promote maize production. Temperature levels for all seasons impacted negatively on net revenue for both crops, except during the mid-season, when temperature exerted a positive effect on net revenue for sorghum. Our findings suggest that appropriate adaptation strategies should be promoted to reduce the negative impacts of prevailing climate change on cereal crop production.


Climate, soil and land-use based land suitability evaluation for oil palm production in Ghana

Authors: Rhebergen T, Fairhurst T, Zingore S, Fisher M, Oberthür T and Whitbread A

Published: 2016. European Journal of Agronomy, 81: 1-14. ISSN 11610301

Abstract: The large demand for palm oil has resulted in a rapid expansion of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) cultivation across the globe. Most expansion of the industry is expected in Central and South America and sub-Saharan Africa, where land with suitable agro-ecological conditions is available. Using Ghana as a case study, a method for evaluating areas that are both suitable and available for oil palm production is presented. Our assessment used spatial data and GIS techniques, and showed that areas with suitable climatic conditions is about 20% greater than was previously identified. Such assessments will be essential for guiding government policy makers and investors considering investments in oil palm development.


Considering effects of temperature and photoperiod on growth and development of Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet in the search of short-season accessions for smallholder farming systems

Authors: Sennhenn A, Odhiambo JJO, Maass BL and Whitbread AM

Published: 2016. Experimental Agriculture: 1-21. ISSN 0014-4797

Abstract: Legumes have gained increased importance in smallholder farming systems of sub-Saharan Africa due to their contribution to household nutrition and health, and their ability to grow in low fertility soils. With  unpredictable and highly variable rainfall characteristics of the semi-arid areas, short-season grain types are seen as a promising option for drought avoidance. Knowledge of phenological development and, in particular, time to flowering is crucial information needed for estimating the possible production success of new accessions to new environments. The tested lablab accessions are considered photoperiod insensitive, or weakly photoperiod responsive and are classified as short-day plants (SDP).











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