3) Visit by Western Australian Premier strengthens collaborative chickpea research

The Premier of Western Australia Province, Honorable Alan J Carpenter, visited the Patancheru headquarters of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) today.

Mr Carpenter saw the progress made by ICRISAT's project on chickpea improvement in collaboration with a consortium from Western Australia the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA) and the Council of Grain Growers' Organization.

The collaborative project, which had begun in 2005, will continue till 2009. The project aims to explore the pre-breeding of desi chickpea for disease and salinity tolerance for Western Australia at ICRISAT due to the following advantages:

  • ICRISAT is the premier global institute for chickpea breeding.

  • ICRISAT has the largest collection (more than 19,000 accessions) of chickpea germplasm. This makes it the most appropriate institution to develop chickpea varieties most suited for Western Australian conditions.

  • Develop the breeding materials through rapid generation advancement at ICRISAT in a cost-effective manner.

  • ICRISAT has excellent facilities for the large-scale controlled environmental facilities (greenhouses) that can screen for diseases such as Ascochyta blight and Botrytis gray mold. ICRISAT also has the capability of screening in the field for Fusarium wilt.

Mr Carpenter visited the facilities for this project in the field and the greenhouse. Deputy Director General for Research Dr Dyno Keatinge briefed MrCarpenter, On behalf of Director General William Dar. He also had the opportunity to interact with the scientists working on the project.

Mr Carpenter, who became the Premier of Western Australia on 25 January 2006, was a journalist before joining the Government. He worked for TVW Channel 7 at Perth , and also as the State Political Reporter for ABC TV.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.