The government's research organisations ICAR and IARI have developed drought-tolerant variety of chickpea 'Pusa JG 16' that has potential to boost yield of chickpea in central India.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), in collaboration with Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya (JNKVV) Jabalpur, Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Gwalior and ICRISAT, Patancheru, Hyderabad have developed drought hardy and higher yielding chickpea variety 'Pusa JG 16', according to a statement.

The variety will enhance productivity in the Central Zone’s drought prone areas consisting of Madhya Pradesh, Bundelkhand area of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Southern Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat, where terminal drought is a major problem and sometimes leads to 50-100 per cent loss of yield.

"Pusa JG 16 variety was developed by using genomic assisted breeding techniques that allowed precision transfer of drought tolerant genes from ICC 4958 in the parental variety JG 16. The drought tolerance of this variety was affirmed through national level testing by the All India Coordinated Research Programme of Chickpea," it added.

This variety is resistance to fusarium wilt and stunt diseases, having short duration maturity (110 days) and a yield potential of 2 tonnes per hectare under drought stress conditions over the recurrent parent JG 16 (1.3 tonnes/hectares).

A K Singh, Director ICAR-IARI expressed happiness on the notification of chickpea variety 'Pusa JG 16' by the Ministry of Agriculture.

He emphasised that this variety will be a boon for the farmers of drought prone areas of Central zone of the country.