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36) Scientists' Meet on Chickpea (16 January 2003)

The second biennial meet on chickpea research, jointly organised by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) will be held at ICRISAT's Patancheru campus on January 16 and 17.

Dr Cynthia Bantilan, speaking on behalf of Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, said, "Chickpea is replacing cash crops like tobacco, cotton and chilli in some parts of Andhra Pradesh." Otherwise cropped on marginal lands, chickpea seems to provide an alternative to farmers buried in debt from pesticide-intensive cultivation.

About 40 scientists from India will attend the Meet. Delegates from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Australia and Canada are also parti cipating.

The Scientists' Meet is an opportunity for discussing developments in chickpea research and reviewing future trends. The visiting scientists can see ICRISAT's latest work on the crop in the Institute's fields, and select breeding material and germplasm.

While the meeting will provide new seeds to national scientists, ICRISAT will get feedback on what is desired from its research, thus enabling modifications in its strategy.

Chickpea – known in Hindi as chana or Kabuli chana – is one of the mandate crops for ICRISAT research. Since it is a crop that tolerates considerable stress, its cultivation can support farmers' livelihoods in the rainfed tropics.

India accounts for nearly 65 per cent of the global cropped area of 10.66 million hectares under Chickpea cultivation.

For more information contact Dr PM Gaur: p(dot)gaur(at)cgiar(dot)org.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.