The state varietal release committee of Telangana released a pigeonpea hybrid and two varieties developed by ICRISAT specifically suited for different agroecologies across the state.
ICPH 2740 – released under the name Mannem Konda Kandi – is the first pigeonpea hybrid for the state of Telangana. It was released from the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Palem, Mahabubnagar district. The hybrid possess resistance to wilt and sterility mosaic diseases and is suitable for deep black soils of the state. With a yield potential of 3.5 tons per ha it registered a 40% yield increase over the local cultivars.
ICPL 14003 (PRG 176) was released from the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Palem, Mahabubnagar district, under the name Ujwala. The variety has yield potential of 2.5 tons per ha and matures in 130 days. It is resistant to terminal drought and is suitable for light chalka soils (light red soils with low water retention) of Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda and Rangareddy districts.
ICPL 332 WR (TDRG 4) was released by the name Hanuma from Agricultural Research Station, Tandur, Rangareddy district. This variety has a yield potential of 3 tons per ha and is suitable for sandy loam soils. It is resistant to wilt and tolerant to Helicoverpa.
Research collaboration with Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University led to the development and release of the above varieties and hybrid. The released varieties and hybrid are preferred by traders owing to their high dal (split pigeonpea) recovery percentage, milling and organo-leptic attributes.
The released varieties are well suited to the soil type and rainfall pattern of each agroecology in the state. In addition their high yields and disease resistance will enhance productivity and incomes for the smallholder farmer. There are three distinct agroecologies in the state (i) areas with annual rainfall <700 mm with light chalka soils in Mahbubnagar and Nalgonda districts, (ii) areas with annual rainfall <900 mm with red sandy soils in Khammam, Warangal, Medak, Nizamabad and Rangareddy districts and (iii) areas with black to heavy black soils with annual rainfall ranging from 800 to 1000 mm in Adilabad, Rangareddy, Medak, Nizamabad and Khammam districts.
Massive seed production of these improved varieties and hybrids have been launched through a collaboration of ICRISAT, state agricultural universities, state seed development corporations, National Seeds Corporation, departments of agriculture, NGOs, progressive farmers and private seed companies. These efforts resulted in the production of 657 tons of hybrid seed in kharif 2014 and 507 tons of hybrid seed in 2015 season. For 2016 it is planned to produce 700 tons of hybrid seed which can cover 140,000 ha. The governments of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha are distributing the hybrid seed to farmers on subsidized basis.
Pigeonpea is an important crop in Telangana cultivated in more than 350,000 ha. It is an integral component of rainfed cropping systems and is cultivated by small and marginal farmers either as a sole crop and intercropped with castor, sorghum, maize, mung bean, soybean and cotton. Low productivity (around 500 kg per ha for the last 5 decades) and susceptibility to wilt and sterility mosaic diseases which are endemic in the state constrain smallholder farmers.
Pigeonpea is cultivated in nearly 4 million ha in India. There are distinct agroecologies similar to Telangana in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat. Pigeonpea hybrids are already gaining momentum in these states. These varieties and hybrid can be further expanded to other states to enhance productivity and to combat climate change.