Smallholder farmers in Myanmar engaged in legume farming have benefited from the strong partnership between Myanmar and ICRISAT, India, in grain legumes improvement research over the last 30 years.
A recent review meeting of the MyPulses (Increasing productivity of legume-based farming systems in the Central Dry Zone (CDZ) of Myanmar) project (2014–2017) highlighted its contributions towards improving the livelihoods of Myanmar’s legume farmers through research and extension. The CDZ spans 80,000 sq km in central Myanmar, where annual rainfall ranges from 500 to 1000 mm. Legume crops, grown on about 2.5 million ha, are important in this region.
- ICRISAT has supplied about 500 improved breeding lines of chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut to the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR) in Myanmar.
- Nine out of ten varieties of chickpea, six out of nine varieties of pigeonpea and five out of ten varieties of groundnut released in Myanmar are from ICRISAT- supplied germplasm and breeding lines.
- Chickpea production has seen a 728% increase (from 67,900 tons to 562,000 tons).
- Pigeonpea production has achieved a 266% increase (from 157,000 tons to 575,100 tons).
- Groundnut production has jumped 54% (from 561,700 tons to 865,900 tons) in 15 years (1999–2014).
- The compound annual growth rate in yield during this period was 4.7% for chickpea and 2.6% for pigeonpea and groundnut.
- During 2014, the average yields of chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut in Myanmar were 1460, 940 and 1790 kg/ha, respectively, which are 48.7%, 35.3%, and 8.2% higher than the global average yields.
- Over 600 on-station mother trials and on-farm baby trials were conducted on improved varieties/candidate varieties of chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut using farmer participatory varietal selection (FPVS) approach.
- Quality seed of high-yielding varieties are produced and distributed using the Village Seed Bank model. Across the CDZ, there are about 430 seed banks producing and selling seed (as of 2016-17).
ICRISAT has also provided training to scientists and extension personnel from DAR and the Department of Agriculture (DoA), Myanmar, on breeding, crop and seed production of grain legumes, and integrated pest management, through field days and in-country training sessions.
The project’s annual review meeting was held on 10-11 October 2017 at DAR, Yezin, Myanmar. ICRISAT participants included Drs Pooran Gaur (Project Coordinator from ICRISAT), P Janila, Anupama Hingane and D Kumaracharyulu.
Project: MyPulses (Increasing productivity of legume-based farming systems in the Central Dry Zone of Myanmar) (2013-2018)
Partners: Department of Agricultural Research and Department of Agriculture, Myanmar; Yezin Agricultural University, Myanmar; University of New England and University of Adelaide, Australia; and ICRISAT
Funder: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)