One size doesn’t fit all, and one seed may not suit the requirements of all farmers. In a bid to identify what variety of a groundnut suit better for a particular location and a tailor-made agronomical package, ICRISAT and Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) have begun an initiative and identified 80 demonstration sites in the State.

These demonstration sites would test and identify the genotypes that perform better. After the trials, the institute would provide relevant seeds to the farmers.

The trials follow the State Government’s decision to increase groundnut production. The oilseed crop is being grown on about 0.30 million hectares in the State.

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Sujatha, Principal Scientist (Oilseeds) at Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS) in Palem (Nagarkurnool district), has said that the key challenge for the farmers is availability of quality seeds.

Farmers needs about 80-100 kilograms of ground seed for an acre.

“The availability of poor quality and mixed varieties of groundnut seed is also a concern that needs to be addressed. We are working with ICRISAT to ensure that new varieties will soon be available to farmers,” she said.

In order to make quality seeds available, the two institutes would work with seed-producing farmers. To start with, a capacity-building programme was organised by the two institutes at RARS (Palem) to expose the farmers to quality seed production techniques.

They distributed leaflets in Telugu, throwing light on good agricultural practices in groundnut were distributed to the farmers.

Director General ICRISAT Jacqueline Hughes felt that improvements to groundnut cultivation across the State were needed to improve the incomes of farmers.

“We will help develop inclusive and sustainable seed systems and value chains to provide high-quality seeds at lower costs,” she said.

Seed production

The ICRISAT, in association with the Directorate of Groundnut Research, has taken up production of the country’s first high oleic acid groundnut varieties ‘Girnar 4’ in four acres of land at RARS-Palem early this year.

“There are plans to engage with seed corporations, farmer seed entrepreneurs and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to ensure access to quality Girnar 4 and 5 seeds,” an ICRISAT executive said.

“The breeder seed production undertaken at ICRISAT will support foundation and certified seed production by different agencies,” he said.

“We will develop tailored agronomic packages for ICRISAT-developed groundnut varieties – Girnar 4 and Girnar 5 and promote the varieties in southern Telangana,” M Goverdhan, Associate Director of Research, Southern Telangana Zone, RARS-Palem, said.

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