Pigeonpea for enhanced incomes and improving soil fertility

Photo credit: ICRISAT

Women farmers group from Rampuravas village of Jaipur district at the planning meeting.
Photo: ICRISAT

Women encouraged to take up pigeonpea cultivation

In a region where pigeonpea had completely disappeared, farmers, especially women, are being encouraged to again grow pigeonpea for enhanced incomes and improving soil fertility.

In Jagmalpura and Rampuravas villages of Rajasthan, India, farmers have been convinced to grow early-duration pigeonpea varieties on 200 ha. At a training-cum-planning workshop, Dr Anupama Hingane, Special Project Scientist, Pigeonpea Breeding, ICRISAT, gave detailed information about benefits of pigeonpea crop, and requested men to support their wives and daughters to actively participate not only in farm activities but also in post-harvest processing and marketing of pigeonpea. She also encouraged women groups to participate in initiatives like mini dal mills, making baskets from pigeonpea stalks, post-harvest processing and making products like pakodas(fritters) from pigeonpea flour.

A group of 50 young women from Rampuravas led by village head Ms Ghyani Devi, expressed their willingness to take up pigeonpea cultivation and seed production on their farms. Dr Hingane shared the success story of Padasoli village where women farmers participate in activities like dalprocessing and other post-harvest processing activities.

Earlier this region used to produce pigeonpea, but local varieties were susceptible to diseases and took 160 days to mature. As a result farmers could not prepare the land in time for rabi (post-rainy) sowing. Another problem was availability of quality seed. Over time pigeonpea cultivation vanished from these regions.

Read the full story: ICRISAT

Preventing land degradation and effective use of water resources

Photo credit: Google

Eleusine coracana is an annual plant widely grown as a cereal in the arid areas of Africa and Asia. Earliest Karnataka civilisation shows it was grown in Hallur in the later Iron Age. Wikipedia

Breeding climate-smart crops top priority for Indian state of Karnataka

Breeding climate-smart sorghum, finger millet, chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut crops figure high on the agenda of the Government of Karnataka (GoK).

Chickpea (Cicer anietinum) - http://www.cilr.uq.edu.au/UserImages/Image/ImageGallery/larger_images/Chickpea%20flowers_big.jpg
Chickpea (Cicer anietinum) – http://www.cilr.uq.edu.au/UserImages/Image/ImageGallery/larger_images/Chickpea%20flowers_big.jpg

Mr Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of Agriculture, GoK, said that Karnataka will soon sign an agreement with ICRISAT and the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, India, to produce non-GM varieties of the above five crops. A consortium would be formed for this purpose and will be funded by GoK.

Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) -   http://www.icrisat.org/what-we-do/crops/crops-pigeonpea/pigeonpea-asia.jpg
Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) – http://www.icrisat.org/what-we-do/crops/crops-pigeonpea/pigeonpea-asia.jpg

With 2015 being the International Year of Soils, he said that the upcoming Bhoochetana Plus program would lay great emphasis on preventing land degradation and effective use of water resources.

“Our soils are not just thirsty, they are hungry too,” he said referring to the micronutrient deficiencies that the soil tests have revealed during the first phase of the Bhoochetana project initiated by ICRISAT. He said the government aims to issue Soil Health Cards to all farmers in Karnataka by 2016-17.

Read the full article: ICRISAT

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