Climate-smart crops, Smart Food and modernization of breeding database are some of the core areas of research in a new agreement between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and ICRISAT.
“ICAR wishes to see this collaboration benefitting the Indian farmers and we will achieve this through partnership and continuous monitoring by both sides to achieve real impact,” said Dr Trilochan Mohapatra,
Director General, ICAR.
ICAR and ICRISAT will continue to work together on crop improvement and agronomy programs for grain legumes and dryland cereals. Other areas of focus over the next three years include: Integrating systems modelling tools enabling informed decisions for upscaling climate-resilient agriculture, developing genetic and genomic resources of finger millet and enhancing genetic gains for priority traits.
“Dryland cereals and grain legumes are branded as Smart Food – good for consumers, farmers and the planet – as they diversify farming systems and help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change. We enjoy a strong partnership with ICAR so we can deliver real results to improve the lives of farmers and their families in the harsh drylands,” said Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT, at the signing of the agreement in New Delhi, India.
A very successful example of the years of partnership between ICAR and ICRISAT is the release of 42 improved and short-duration varieties of chickpea. ICAR-ICRISAT varieties now make up 53% of chickpea breeder seed indent in India. The collaboration has also successfully developed a machine-harvestable chickpea that has been released in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. This reduces harvesting time and drudgery for farmers, thus increasing their profits from the crop. Read full story.
In addition to setting the terms of the collaboration from 2016 to 2018 and the transfer of agricultural technologies between the two institutes, the partnership includes funding for research on grain legumes and dryland cereals and support for the Smart Food initiative to deliver sustainable and nutritionally rich products to consumers. On the crop improvement front, the agreement will also facilitate research activities on transgenic pigeonpea and chickpea for insect resistance.
The agreement was signed on 15 March. Also present at the occasion were Mr C Roul, Additional Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) and Secretary, ICAR; Dr S Sandhu, Deputy Director General, ICAR; and Dr Arvind K Padhee, Director, Country Relations and Business Affairs, ICRISAT.