Pulses researchers and extension personnel from South Asian countries equipped themselves with some of the latest tools and technologies related to pulses cultivation, processing and marketing at a recent training at ICRISAT-India. The participants – from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka – promised to share with their compatriots all the information they had gathered during the training.
Information about improved varieties/hybrids of pulses; integrated crop production and management technologies; seed production, including integrated nutrient management and integrated pest management; machineries for processing; value-addition ideas; and nutrition from pulses was provided during a series of 14 lectures and interactive sessions. The participants visited the Center of Excellence in Genomics and Systems Biology (CEGSB), Platform for Translational Research on Transgenic Crops (PTTC), LeasyScan area, Genebank and the pigeonpea experimental fields to understand various aspects of pulses research.
The resource persons included several eminent scientists from ICRISAT and the Indian National Systems, including Dr NP Singh, Director, ICAR-Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), Kanpur; Dr Krishna Kumar Singh, Director, ICAR-Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering (CIAE), Bhopal; Dr K Sammi Reddy, Director (Acting), ICAR-Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), Hyderabad; Dr Jagdish Singh, Principal Scientist, ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research (IIVR), Varanasi; and Dr R P Dubey, Principal Scientist, ICAR – Directorate of Weed Research (DWR), Jabalpur.
Emphasizing the importance of pulses for food and nutritional security, Dr NP Singh, related how from 2005 onwards production of pulses saw a steadily rising trend, reaching a record production of 25.2 million tons in 2017-2018. Dr Pooran Gaur, Research Program Director – Asia, ICRISAT, underlined the need to enhance investment on research and development of pulses for sustained increase in pulses production in the region. Dr Peter Carberry, Director General (Acting), ICRISAT, encouraged the participants to disseminate information on improved cultivars and production technologies to farmers for boosting pulses production.
Dr Pradyumna Pandey, Senior Program Specialist, SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Agriculture Centre (SAC), Bangladesh, appreciated the efforts of resource persons in providing comprehensive information to the participants. The training workshop “Proven Production Technology, Value Chain Development and Nutrition Security through Pulses in South Asia” was attended by representatives from six SAARC countries. It was jointly organized during 12-15 September 2018, at ICRISAT-Patancheru by the SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC), Dhaka; International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and ICRISAT.