42) Chickpea Collaborative Research Fruitful: ICRISAT DG (January 2001)

"India grows 70 per cent of the world's chickpea (chana in Hindi), and any progress we achieve together to improve this crop will benefit a large section of farmers and consumers not only in this country but also in South Asia, and worldwide," declared Dr William D Dar, ICRISAT Director General, inaugurating a two-day ICAR-ICRISAT Chickpea Breeders' Meet at ICRISAT-Patancheru today. About 60 scientists from India, Bangladesh, Canada, Kenya, Tanzania, and ICRISAT are participating.

Dr Dar outlined the progress made by ICAR-ICRISAT collaborative research in producing short-duration genotypes that escape drought, are resistant to fusarium wilt, and are tolerant to Ascochyta blight. He highlighted such technologies as the development of a super-early chickpea that matures in just 75 days in Andhra Pradesh, thereby escaping drought.

"The achievements of ICAR-ICRISAT partnership research have indeed been laudable," said Dr Masood Ali, Director, Indian Institute of Pulses Research, Kanpur, who is leading the ICAR team. In his address, Dr Ali gave vivid statistics on chickpea gains in productivity and area in the last two decades in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka.

Dr Jagdish Kumar, Senior Chickpea Breeder at ICRISAT, gave a comprehensive overview of the Institute's chickpea research and strategy, including an account of the opportunities for chickpea improvement offered by modern technologies such as genomics.


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