Hybrid Parents Research Consortium (HPRC)

Farmers are constrained by the lack of access to seed of improved hybrids at affordable cost. By exploiting the complimentary expertise of private sector seed companies to develop improved cultivars, it has been possible to diversify the genetic base of hybrid breeding programs.



ICRISAT’s Hybrid Parents Research Consortium partners with Private Sector (PS) seed companies in India, and abroad to deliver improved hybrids and varieties to poor farmers. It does this by: 

  • Evaluating breeding materials for various traits and adaptation at targeted sites in target ecologies
    • Flowering period heat-tolerant breeding materials
    • Biofortified hybrids, ICMH 1201
      • Dhanshakti (biofortified variety of pearl millet developed by ICRISAT)
    • Drought-tolerant hybrids identified in HOPE project upscaled
    • Medium-duration sorghum hybrid parents with high yield and resistance to shoot fly
    • Development of postrainy season adapted sorghum hybrid parents and hybrids
    • Hybrid parents for sweet stalk traits for biofuel and single cut forages
    • Identification of high green biomass breeding lines, germplasm and cultivars
    • Development of fusarium wilt and sterility mosaic disease-resistant parental lines and hybrids for different agro-ecologies
  • Serving as a platform to evaluate promising pipeline hybrids across agro-ecological zoneshprc
  • Providing services to screen private sector lines and hybrid
  • Providing specialized training in breeding, entomology, pathology and molecular marker technology
  • Supporting nucleus seed supply
  • Facilitating networking.


Pearl millet 

  • 60-70% of the 70-80 pearl millet hybrids grown in India are based on ICRISAT-bred A-lines, or on proprietary A-lines developed from improved lines bred at ICRISAT
  • 3-year mean grain yield rose from about 539 kg/ha (1986-90) to 1186 kg/ha (2010-15)
  • Generated social benefits worth USD 23.5 M in Gujarat, USD 108 M in Rajasthan and USD 38.4 M in Uttar Pradesh 
  • 22 of the 29 hybrids released by the public sector in India (2000-2014) are based on ICRISAT-bred hybrid parents 
  • 40 of the 48 hybrids evaluated in the Initial Hybrid Trial of the All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project (AICPMIP) during 2014 are based on ICRISAT-bred hybrid parents 
  • 4065 breeding lines (2012 and 2014) encompassing 10,990 seed samples (2012 and 2014) were supplied to >40 public and private sector research organizations. 


  • Of the 14 new hybrids commercialized by PS partners, 8 were developed using ICRISAT-bred materials (A-/B- or R-lines) 
  • About 25% of partners used ICRISAT-bred sorghum R-lines directly to make two hybrids; another 25% of PS partners used the ICRISAT-bred lines (up to 50% R-line) to develop two hybrids.
  • About 25% of partners directly used ICRISAT-bred A-lines to develop five hybrids; the other 25% used the selections from ICRISAT-bred A/B pairs to make two hybrids while another 12% used <25% ICRISAT bred line to make one hybrid 
  • 12 of hybrids were generated using ICRISAT-bred hybrid parents by six seed companies. 
  • ICRISAT contributed about 80% of sorghum A- and B- lines, and 60% of R-lines to the working collection of private seed companies (2000-2010). 


  • Seed production technology standardized for alfisols and vertisols to harvest appreciable amounts of hybrid seed from female parental lines 
  • 8 hybrids were directly released by the private sector using ICRISAT parental lines 
  • ICPH 4503: The first white-seeded hybrid for India released by Biogene, Gujarat state, India 
  • 500 parental lines were shared with the private sector.

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