Agri Business

ICRISAT germplasm gives birth to 735 seed varieties

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on May 22, 2011

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) says its germplasm is going places. “A total of 735 nutritious and drought-tolerant crop varieties developed using our germplasm and breeding materials has been released in 78 countries,” Dr William D Dar, Director-General of ICRISAT, said.

Of the 735 varieties, 242 were in sorghum, 163 in pearl millet, 145 in groundnut, 120 in chickpea and 65 in pigeon pea. Asian countries took the lion's share with 347, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa with 319 and 136 in West and Central Africa. Rest of the world developed 69.

India, which ranged fourth position globally in terms of seed production, developed 198 varieties. “Using our germplasm, India developed 35 varieties in sorghum, 80 in pearl millet, 36 in chickpea, 21 in pigeon pea and 26 in groundnut. Both Government agencies and private companies had a role in this,” he said.

He claimed that hybrid pigeon pea increased yields by 33 per cent. “This will revolutionise the production of the high-protein ‘poor people's meat' crop across India, Myanmar and China in the coming years,” he said.

Earlier-maturing, heat-tolerant chickpea varieties from ICRISAT had more than doubled yields, from 600 to 1400 kg a hectare in Andhra Pradesh, triggering a four-fold increase in sown area from 1.60 lakh ha to 6.30 lakh ha.

Published on May 22, 2011

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