Hybrid Parents Research Consortia Advisory Committee meet to discuss future direction


Participants at the HPRC advisory committee meet. Photo: PS Rao, ICRISAT

The newly-formed advisory committee of the ICRISAT- Hybrid Parents Research Consortia (HPRC) met recently to discuss how to further strengthen the consortium and the possibility of upgrading membership. They also reviewed the activities undertaken over the last year and the status of crop-wise HPRC Annual reports.

Dr Suresh K Gupta, Director-Regulatory Affairs, Hytech Seed India Pvt. Ltd., was elected unanimously as the Chair of the Advisory Committee for 2016-2017.

Efforts to create awareness about the consortia and attract more seed companies to become members was discussed. About 20 seed companies visited ICRISAT during post-rainy season of sorghum and they were shown hybrids that have adapted to rabi season and the companies were offered seeds of the hybrids selected by them for their evaluation. The private company committee members, listed a few potential seed companies to approach and assured the consortia of sharing the consortium activities with these companies. The committee suggested that non-Indian seed companies should be enrolled as members of HPRC only when approvals for their seed exports have been ensured by ICRISAT crop breeders. There were also suggestions to connect HPRC with other important seed related platforms, like the National Seed Association of India (NSAI), Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA), and Seedsmen Association of Andhra Pradesh.

Crop-specific Scientists Field Days (SFDs) were proposed for pearl millet, sorghum and pigeonpea to exhibit early maturity materials, and to show medium to late maturing materials.

The ICRISAT-HPRC is in Phase 4 (2014-2018) and the advisory committee held its first meeting at ICRISAT-India on 16 May. The meeting was attended by Mr AK Singh, Bayer Crop Sciences; Dr Brijendra Pal, BioSeed Research; Dr AK Jayalekha, Lead Pearl Millet Breeder, Bayer Crop Sciences; Dr Suresh K Gupta; Dr Stefania Grando, Director-Science Quality and Strategy; Dr Pooran Gaur, Theme Leader – Crop Improvement, Asia Program; Dr SK Gupta, Senior Scientist-Pearl Millet Breeding, Crop Improvement, Asia Program, Dr Sameer Kumar, Senior Scientist-Pigeonpea Breeding, Crop Improvement, Asia Program; and Dr Ashok Kumar, Senior Scientist-Sorghum Breeding, Crop ImprovementAsia Program. The HPRC in the current phase involves 37 seed companies (27 pearl millet, 8 sorghum and 2 pigeonpea) in partnership with ICRISAT.

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