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Community-based Integrated Watershed Management A community-based approach to integrated rural development uses watershed management as an entry point Overview

Rainfed agriculture in arid and semiarid tropics is complex, diverse, risk prone and characterized by low levels of productivity and low input use efficiency. Water scarcity and land degradation are the major concerns for agricultural development and poor water use efficiency in dry lands. Changing climatic situation in recent years put extraordinary challenges especially in rainfed areas and is highly vulnerable for agriculture production. Current yield levels in semi arid tropics are 2-5 folds less than the potential yield, indicating e scope for harnessing untapped potential. ICRISAT demonstrated an innovative consortium model for community development and poverty alleviation in which integrated watershed development programs are implemented as entry points.

Principal Scientist Watersheds, SP Wani (right) and Research Program Director Grain Legumes, CLL Gowda, at a water-conservation tank in Kothapally, Andhra Pradesh.

increases groundwater recharge while trapping sediments that protect river ecosystems further downstream. v In-situ interventions increase soil moisture availability by 10–30%. v Ex-situ interventions traps 30-60% of surface runoff and enhances groundwater recharge. v SWC interventions restrict soil loss to less than 20% of non-intervention losses.

d. Economic return from the project was US$130 million equivalent. 3. IWM model adopted in Thailand, Vietnam and China a. Increased water resources availability in benchmark sites encouraged farmers to diversify low value food crops with high values crops such as vegetables b. Crop diversification and intensification has transformed farmers economy through inclusive market oriented development 4. IWM has improved crop productivity; livelihood and ecosystem services while addressing the issues of poverty, equity and gender, building resilience in dry land systems. 5. Climate resilience in rainfed areas can be improved through IWM as an adaptation strategy in the short-term, and mitigate the climate change challenges in the long-term.



The impact

1. Long-term research of integrated watershed management (IWM) at ICRISAT has been scaled-out and scaled-up in farmers’ fields through an innovative consortium approach. a. Established 13 Model Watersheds as Sites of Learning in different agro-ecological zones in India, Thailand, Vietnam and China to demonstrate potential of rainfed areas for increasing productivity. ICRISAT-Patancheru demonstration of waterharvesting, glyricidia plantation, and water collection tank.

2. Consortium and Government of Karnataka implemented a mission mode project called “Bhoochetana” to boost productivity of rainfed agriculture through science led interventions. a. Project covered 3.2 million ha in entire state during 2011 rainy season. b. About 3 million farm households benefited. c. Yields increased by 23-66% for maize, finger millet, groundnut, sunflower and chickpea.

Vermicomposting is an ancillary occupation of watershed extension work that brings in additional income for women. Integrating livestock with agriculture also improves livelihoods.

Masonry check-dam in Kothapally, Andhra Pradesh.

The innovation

Soil and Water conservation measures (SWC) In-situ interventions v minimize surface runoff allowing more water to percolate into the fields (Show pictures) protecting soils from erosion

Ex-situ interventions v reduce peak discharge and harvest a substantial amount of runoff, which

Top: Community ponds in Tad Fa, Thailand (left) and Kothapally, India. Bottom: Gully control structure (left) and rock-filled dams prevent erosion and facilitate infiltration of rainwater into the ground.

Aerial view showing grassed-waterways, canal, contours, slopes, and agricultural and horticultural cultivation within watersheds.

Aug 2012

Fertilizer Microdosing Small doses of fertilizer applied at the right place at the right time, combined with an inventory credit system (warrantage), have led WRELJEHQHÂżWVLQ\LHOGVDQGLQFRPHVLQVHYHUDOFRXQWULHV RIVXE6DKDUDQ$IULFD Overview

The Impact

Land degradation leads to estimated losses of US$ 42 billion in income and 5 million hectares of productive land in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) each year. Poor soil fertility, in particular low phosphorus and organic matter, cause low grain and biomass production.

About 25,000 smallholder farmers in 0DOL%XUNLQD)DVRDQG1LJHUKDYH learned the technique and increased sorghum and millet yields by 44 to 120%. Their family incomes increased by 50 to 130%. Fertilizer use has been reintroduced LQ=LPEDEZH0R]DPELTXHDQG South Africa. Although microdosing is time consuming and laborious, LWVXVHLQ=LPEDEZHUHVXOWHGLQ 170,000 households increasing cereal production levels by 40,000 tons, saving US$7 million in food imports.

A combination of strategic fertilizer application and an inventory credit system, called warrantage has helped farmers obtain good grain yields, improve their livelihoods and access ÂżQDQFHDQGPDUNHWV

The innovation Microdosing involves the application of small, affordable quantities of inorganic fertilizer with the seed at planting time, RUDVWRSGUHVVLQJWRZHHNVDIWHU emergence.


Microdosing, adapted to traditional water management NQRZQDV=DĂŻ, where small planting holes are dug early LQWKHVHDVRQDQGÂżOOHGZLWK manure, doubles crop yields.

A regional project of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is targeting 360,000 households with the microdosing technology by the end of 2012.


$WKUHHÂżQJHUSLQFKRIIHUWLOL]HULVSODFHGLQ the seed hole. 2000 Improved variety

Inventory credit or warrantage allows farmers to store their grain at harvest time for sale when prices are better, and WDNHDORDQDJDLQVWWKHVWRUHG grain. After sale of the grain, WKHIDUPHUVWRSD\EDFNORDQV and buy inputs for the new season.

Grain yield (kg/ha)

Traditional variety








5HVHDUFKHUVDUHORRNLQJDWSDFNDJLQJ the correct dose of fertilizer and exploring the use of seed coating and an animal-drawn mechanized planter as options in collaboration with other institutions.



Improved varieties do better than traditional ones, and more so when microdosed.


Farmers apply 2 to 6 grams of fertilizer DERXWDWKUHHÂżQJHUSLQFK LQRUQHDU the seed hole at the time of planting HTXLYDOHQWWRDERXWWRNJRI fertilizer per hectare).


July 2012

Village Level Studies ICRISAT’s unique contribution to the global knowledge base on better understanding of constraints and pathways to agricultural development and poverty alleviation in the dryland tropics Overview

The innovation

The ICRISAT Village Level Studies (VLS) started in 1975 by surveying panel households in six villages in semiarid tropics (SAT) of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra states of India. The studies were initiated to enhance availability of reliable household, individual members, field-specific high frequency, and time-series and spatial data to better understand farming systems and socioeconomic constraints of SAT farmers. Director RP-MIP, Cynthia Bantilan (in white) and team members discuss collective action by women with farmers in Kanzara Village, Maharashtra state.

v The Economics Program (now known as RP- MIP) gradually expanded survey scope from farming systems to technology adoption and impacts, poverty analysis, livelihoods, risks and vulnerability, and coping mechanisms. v The ICRISAT VLS data bank is equivalent to a biological “gene bank”. It provides a “field laboratory” to undertake multi-disciplinary research on farming systems on a variety of topics by integrating biological, technical, social and economic approaches. v ICRISAT VLS provides a unique set of high frequency longitudinal (since 1975) panel data of farm households that are International Public Goods (IPGs).

Objectives of VLS

ICRISAT team collecting information on social networks and relationships in village Aurepalle.

v To provide socio-economic field laboratory for research, teaching, training and outreach v To track changes in the farm activities, farming systems, socioeconomic and biophysical constraints and livelihood options of the rural poor v To understand response of rural women and men to changing markets, policies and technologies v To understand women and men farmers’ response to agroclimatic variability, and their coping mechanisms against risks and vulnerabilities v To understand dynamics of rural transformation, poverty, and drivers of change v To provide feedback for designing policy interventions, setting research priorities, and refining technologies Food and water scarcity are common plights in poor villages of India.

The impact

v VLS have attracted many scholars globally for path-breaking research in rural economy. VLS data sets are considered as International Public Goods (IPG), and rank among the most valuable contributions of the CGIAR to the global communities. v The VLS data reveal many valuable facts of the farming systems and livelihoods, and was termed as the ‘goose that lays golden eggs’ in the World Development Reports of the World Bank (2008). v Over 150 research papers and over 40 doctoral dissertations have already been completed using the VLS dataset, resulting in over 10,000 citations of the VLS data (Google Scholar, June 2011).

Analyzing feedback of discussions held with Zimbabwe farmers.

VLS development stages: Past, present and future

v 1975-85: Intensive data collection started in 6 villages of SAT India with regular and several special purpose surveys. v 1981/82 onwards: VLS started in 6 villages of Burkina Faso and 4 villages in Niger. v 2001-08: Expanded survey work in India through linking with the World Bank, ODI and National Agricultural Technology Project of ICAR. v 2009 onwards: VLS activities expanded from 6 to 42 villages in South Asia (5 states in SAT India, 3 states in East India, and 12 districts of Bangladesh), under the project “Village Dynamics Studies in South Asia” funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Partners Top: Enumerators collect socio-economic data from village families. Bottom: Scientific officer Albert Chirima writes down impacts of agricultural expansion in Tsholotsho district of Zimbabwe.

NARS and State Agricultural Universities, NGOs, Advance Research Institutes (ARI), and many other partners have greatly contributed in surveys and conduct of the field research and documentation.

Aug 2012

Aflatoxin Testing Kit An inexpensive innovation that helps to identify aflatoxin-free grains so as to meet international market standards thereby ensuring higher returns for farmers and safer products for consumers Overview

v ICRISAT scientists devised a simple and affordable test kit using in-house-developed polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies.

Aflatoxins, produced by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, pose a major threat to food safety. Many agricultural commodities including groundnut (peanut), are contaminated by aflatoxins each year, affecting trade, human and livestock health.

v The test uses a competitive enzymelinked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) to rapidly detect the presence of aflatoxin. v Results obtained using cELISA are comparable with those of the highly sensitive HPLC. Also, cELISA requires minimum laboratory facilities, and chemicals are locally available in developing countries. v The kit has drastically reduced the cost of testing agricultural commodities for aflatoxin.

Aspergillus flavus infected groundnuts on the left besides healthy groundnuts.

Principal Scientist Farid Waliyar displaying aflatoxin quantification using the cELISA reader.

Hands on training to research personnel.

The impact

Magnification of the fungus.

Components of the aflatoxin testing kit and some susceptible food material.

Consumption of aflatoxins by humans can lead to acute hepatitis, immunity suppression and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hence, several countries reject imports of agricultural products that exceed certain levels of aflatoxin, costing developing-country farmers millions of dollars each year in lost sales.

v The cELISA test provided a unique opportunity for ICRISAT and its partners to monitor food and feed commodity value chains and identify entry points for aflatoxin contamination. v ICRISAT helped to set up aflatoxinmonitoring laboratories in India, Mozambique, Kenya, Malawi and Mali. Local personnel were trained to manage the facility. v The 1970s saw Malawi’s status as a major groundnut exporter eroded due to aflatoxin outbreaks. v The National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) has successfully used the cELISA technology in conjunction with HPLC as part of a broader effort to regain its once lucrative European export market during the past 5 years.

The innovation v The key lies in efficiently and inexpensively detecting aflatoxin, the invisible killer. v Developed countries use expensive chromatography based technologies in sophisticated laboratories for routine quantitative estimation. v This high cost of aflatoxin estimation constrains the development of integrated aflatoxin management technologies.

Technology transfer. The benefits of detecting aflatoxin-infected grain will eventually impact on the livelihoods of poor farmers.

Demonstrating the aflatoxin testing kit to visiting scholars.

Aug 2012

Drought-Tolerant Groundnuts An ICRISAT groundnut variety resists drought and diseases, has good fodder quality and replaces varieties grown for more than 60 years, bringing hope to millions of poor farmers Overview

Anantapur is a drought-prone district in the rain shadow area of Andhra Pradesh, India. Despite frequent droughts and crop failures, over 70% of the cultivated area in the district (~1.0 million ha) is sown to groundnut each year (Figure 1). Smallholdings (<3.0 ha) dominate 60% of the district, the largest groundnut growing area in the world. Soils are light textured, gravelly, shallow Alfisols, low in nutrients. Rainfall is erratic with prolonged dry spells of 45– 50 days, Annual rainfall is 522 mm. Groundnut yield in the district is highly variable (Figure 2) and determined by rainfall. Nevertheless, groundnut can survive long dry spells and is a valuable source of fodder during dry years.

The former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, late Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy hands over the ICGV 91114 seeds to Anantapur farmers on 1 June 2006. On his side is Mr N Raghuveera Reddy, Agriculture Minister.

❖❖ Adoption of ICGV 91114 had a pod yield advantage of 23% with 30% reduction in yield variability and 36% higher net income compared to TMV 2. ❖❖ It is estimated that the annual value of benefits in the district would cross US$500 million, assuming 35% adoption by 2020-21. ❖❖ In spite of severe drought conditions in the past 4-5 years, ICGV 91114 occupied 25,000 ha out of the 800,000 ha under groundnut in the district in 2010. ❖❖ The possible economic benefits of its adoption demonstrate the impact of breeding groundnut for drought tolerance.

The innovation

Distribution of the seed of ICGV 91114 released by the late Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Dr YS Rajashekar Reddy and DG, ICRISAT, Dr Willam Dar Groundnut variety ICGV 91114 was bred and developed at ICRISAT headquarters, India from a cross of ICGV 86055 x ICGV 86533, and has the following features:

Fig 1. Share (% of the total cropped area) of different crops on sample farms in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, India, 2008–09.

❖❖ High yielding ❖❖ Matures in 90-95 days in the kharif (rainy season) ❖❖ Tolerant to mid-season and end-of-season drought ❖❖ Average shelling turnover of 75% ❖❖ Oil content of 48%, protein content of 27% ❖❖ Better digestibility and palatability of haulms (dry fodder).

Fig 2. Area, production and yield of groundnut over the years in Anantapur district during 1966–67 to 2007–08.

ICGV 91114 was released by the Andhra Pradesh State Seed Sub-Committee in 2006 and was notified in The Gazette of India in July 2007. It was subsequently released as Devi in Orissa. Our collaborator in Anantapur district, Accion Fraterna, named it Anantha Jyothi.

The impact

❖❖ ICGV 91114 meets all farmer preferences of high pod and haulm yields, high shelling turnover, good seed size, and resistance to drought and diseases, making it the most popular dual-purpose groundnut cultivated in India today. Groundnut crop on gravelly, shallow Alfisols.

Although the state released improved groundnut varieties during the last 20 years, old varieties such as TMV 2 (80% of the area, released in 1940), JL 24 (15–20% of the area, released in 1978) and Pollachi Red (a landrace) continued to dominate, as new varieties fell short of farmers’ expectations.

Annual value of yield and risk benefits from the adoption of groundnut variety ICGV 91114 in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, India.


A lush groundnut field.

Principal Scientist SN Nigam shares the joy of this southern Indian groundnut farmer over a good harvest.

International Fund for Agricultural Development; NGO, Accion Fraterna in Anantapur district; Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University; State Farm Corporation of India; Department of Agriculture, Andhra Pradesh; and farmers of Anantapur district.

July 2012

Early Maturing Chickpea Early maturing chickpea, with improved fusarium wilt resistance, high yield potential and good seed quality, has greatly increased crop area and productivity in short-season environments Overview

v Andhra Pradesh was once considered to be a low yielding state for chickpea because of its warm, short-season environment, but it now has the highest yield levels in India.

Chickpea is currently grown on ~12 million ha in >50 countries under a wide range of environments and cropping systems.


In about two-thirds of chickpea growing areas, the crop growing season is short (90-120 days) because of terminal drought or heat stresses.

Institutes supported by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), State Agricultural Universities and National and State Seed Corporations in India; and Department of Agricultural Research (DAR) and Myanmar Agriculture Service (MAS) in Myanmar.

Early maturity in chickpea helps the crop in escaping terminal drought and heat stresses.

Principal scientist PM Gaur (left) in a field of early chickpea (ICCV 2) in Tanzania.

v Several early (90-100 days) to extra early (85-90 days) cultivars developed both in desi (brown-seeded) and kabuli (white-seeded) types v Super-early (75-80 days) breeding lines were also developed by combining earliness genes from two parents. Chickpea is an important pulse crop in semi-arid Africa and Asia.

Extra-early kabuli variety Yezin 3 (ICCV 2) in Myanmar.

The innovation

v Diverse sources for earliness identified from the germplasm, and genetics of time to flowering established v Bi-parental and multi-parental crosses used to develop desired segregating populations v Time to flowering was used as selection criterion as it can be recorded with high precision and is a good indicator of subsequent phenological traits (time to podding and maturity)

Chickpea variety JG 11 (right) and a new super early line.

The impact

v Early maturing cultivars avoid terminal drought and heat stress. v Adoption of early-maturing chickpea cultivars has led to an increase in area and productivity in short-season environments such as Myanmar and Andhra Pradesh state of India. v There has been >2-fold increase in both area (129,000 to 282,000 ha) and productivity (651 to 1411 kg ha-1), and a 4.7-fold increase in production (84,000 to 398,000 tons) of chickpea in Myanmar during 2000-09. Four early-maturing chickpea cultivars (Yezin 3, 4, 5 and 6) developed from the breeding material supplied by ICRISAT covered over 80% of the total chickpea area. v The adoption of early-maturing chickpea cultivars has brought a chickpea revolution in Andhra Pradesh (AP) state in India. v In AP, chickpea production increased 9-fold (95,000 to 884,000 tons) during 2000â&#x20AC;&#x201C;09 as a result of a 5-fold increase in area (102,000 to 602,000 ha) and a 2.4-fold increase in yield levels (583 to 1407 kg ha-1). v Over 80% of the chickpea area in Andhra Pradesh is now cultivated with the short-duration improved varieties JG 11 and KAK 2, which were developed through a partnership between ICRISAT and the Indian national agricultural research system.

Bountiful chickpea harvests spell much improved livelihoods for farmers.

Chickpea production in Andhra Pradesh increased 9-fold in nine years.

Early maturing chickpea varieties (earliest on the left) are climate ready as they escape terminal drought.

Toasting green chickpea for a tasty snack.

Aug 2012

Hybrid Pigeonpea Cytoplasmic-nuclear male-sterility-based pigeonpea hybrids yield up to 40% more than conventional cultivars Overview

v ICRISAT plans to reap the benefits of hybrid technology by cultivating the two hybrids on over 1,00,000 ha by 2014.

Annual pigeonpea production across the globe is 3.5 million tons, but productivity has remained low (750 kg/ ha) for over five decades. Hybrid breeding technology can break the yield plateau.


The hybrid pigeonpea research and development program is supported by Department of Agriculture, India, under National Food Security Mission and ICRISAT’s Hybrid Parents Research Consortium.

ICRISAT developed the first commercial cytoplasmic-nuclear male sterility (CMS) based hybrid in the world. Pigeonpea hybrids have demonstrated 30-40% yield advantage in farmers’ fields. A good seed production technology is also available.

Public seed companies

Principal Scientist KB Saxena with a profusely-podded pigeonpea hybrid that he helped develop.

ICPH 8 world’s first (GMS based) pigeonpea hybrid

by crossing a wild relative of pigeonpea (Cajanus cajanifolius) and a cultivar. v The new hybrid technology is based on a three line system that includes A-line (male-sterile); B-line (maintainer), and R-line (restorer). v Several experimental hybrids were evaluated at ICRISAT and various ICAR centers, which demonstrated 50-150% superiority in yield over popular varieties. v In over 2000 on-farm trials conducted in five states of India the hybrids ICPH 2671 and ICPH 2740 respectively exhibited 47% and 42% yield advantage over the best local variety. v Seed production of hybrids, mediated by honey bees, is easy. Under congenial growing conditions, 700-1200 kg/ha of hybrid seed was produced.

The impact

A progressive farmer observing ICPH 2671 hybrid plot in Gulbarga.

v Several farmers have registered high seed yields in different states of India and a farmer from Andhra Pradesh received ‘Best Farmer Award’ for harvesting yields of 3250 kg/ha, a record for this state. v The world’s first CMS hybrid, ICPH 2671, was released by a private company in 2008 and also by State Variety Release Committee in Madhya Pradesh in 2010. v Hybrid ICPH 2740 produced 30% more yield than local cultivars in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. A farmer in Jalagaon district, Maharashtra, harvested 3300 kg/ha grain. This hybrid has recently been recommended for release in Andhra Pradesh. Over all performance of ICPH 2671 in ON-FARM TRIALS (2007-2010) State

ICPH 2740 a promising medium-duration pieonpea hybrid.

The innovation

v In 1991, a milestone in the history of food legume breeding was achieved when the world’s first pigeonpea hybrid, ICPH 8, was released. v ICRISAT and ICAR jointly developed the hybrid using a genetic male-sterility (GMS) system, although high production costs prevented acceptance by seed producers. v In 2005, another breakthrough was achieved when a cytoplasmic nuclear male-sterile (CMS) hybrid was developed

Distt Farmers Mean yield (kg ha-1) %Gain Hybrid Check







A. P.


















M. P.






2013 1396 953 46.5 Total (Right) G Janardhan, a progressive farmer receiving best farmer award for 2009 from the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

Private Sector Consortium members visit to ICPH 2671 seed production plot, ICRISAT.

v National Seeds Corporation (NSC) v State Farms Corporation of India Ltd (SFCI) v Maharashtra State Seeds Corporation (MSSC) v Andhra Pradesh State Seeds Development Corporation Ltd. (APSSDC)

Mr Patil at Rewar, Jalagoan, in his ICPH 2740 on-farm trial field.

Hybrid seed distribution at KVK, Durgapur, Amarawati.

Private seed companies v Adriana Seed Company, Londrina, PR Londrina, PR Brazil v Biogene Agritech, Ahmedabad, Gujarat v Bioseeds Research India Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh v Nimbkar seeds Pvt Ltd, Phaltan, Maharastra v Vibha Agrotech Ltd, Madhapur, Hyderabad v SM Sehgal Foundation, Hyderabad

SAU’s v Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University,Hyderabad v Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), Akola v Maharashtra Krishi Vidyapeeth (MKV), Parbhani v Agricultural Research Station (ARS), Gulbarga v All ICAR Institutions

Aug 2012

Pigeonpea in Eastern and Southern Africa ICRISAT varieties resist wilt, have high yields and large seeds, and are widely grown in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique Tanzania and Uganda, increasing farmers’ incomes by up to 80% Overview

market access, and helped to increase local producer prices by 20–25% in Nairobi and Mombasa after linking producers to wholesalers. v Most importantly, introduction of mediumduration varieties (ICEAPs 00554 and 00557) provides for two crops a year This attribute of early maturity allowed spreading of pigeonpea to non-traditional areas in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. v Enterprising women farmers lead demonstration of pigeonpea technology and proudly call it “our dryland white coffee”, as well as “our beef”, alluding to its high protein content.

ICRISAT pigeonpea varieties resist wilt, have high yields and large seeds, and are widely grown in eastern and southern Africa (ESA), increasing farmers’ incomes by up to 80%. Until recently, farmers were unable to fully exploit the potential because local varieties were low-yielding, latematuring and susceptible to pests and diseases. Small-seeded varieties failed to meet market requirements; market linkages were underdeveloped; and farmers could not access seed of improved varieties. Director General Dar and Director ESA, Said Silim, admire the wiltresistant pigeonpea in Babati district of Tanzania.


v Recognizing the demand for improved seeds, local agro-dealers (called Agrovets) contract farmers to multiply high quality seeds, supported by local extension systems for training and farmer organization. v The commercial produce is marketed through producer marketing groups (PMGs). This collective action enables smallholder farmers to sell quality grain at higher prices.

The impact Dr Phillemon Mushi of SARI, Arusha, admires the heavy pigeonpea podding at a village in Karatu, Tanzania.

Scientist Sabine Homann (right) discussed pigeonpea with a member of the national system and a farmer.

These factors deprived farmers of the benefits of a sizable export market. India alone imports over 254,000 tons of pigeonpea per year, but Africa supplied less than 5% of this demand. Similar high-value niche markets exist in Europe and the Americas. Domestic demand for pigeonpea has grown substantially over the last few years, increasing wholesale prices.

The innovation

v ICRISAT and partners developed high yielding, slightly early- , cream colored, large seeded and fusarium wilt resistant varieties. v Availability of improved varieties along with institutional innovations enabled farmers to reduce the cost of product marketing, spurring commercialization of the crop.

v Commercialization of pigeonpea enables farmers to buy valuable assets ranging from mobile phones to land, houses and livestock. v Farmers have invested in small ruminants, milking cows and bullocks, helping them diversify and expand their income sources. v Increased income enables increased school enrollment of children. v In Babati district – famous for high quality pigeonpea – adoption of improved varieties has reached 60%, and pigeonpea alone contributes more than 50% of the cash incomes of smallholders. v ICRISAT-developed varieties dominate the fields. ICRISAT efforts have resulted in expansion of area under pigeonpea in the last 10 years from 0.45 m ha to 0.82 m ha in ESA. Pigeonpea consumption has increased as the bean crop has succumbed to pests and the changing weather patterns that the hardy pigeonpea can withstand. v Maize has traditionally been the main crop, but fails in three out of five years. Families now rely on pigeonpea, and have also realized the potential of fresh vegetable pigeonpea in the domestic market. v PMGs facilitated community seed production, local distribution and

Staff from ICRISAT-Nairobi in a field of ICEAP 00554 medium-term pigeonpea, known for its broad seeds.

Farmers in eastern Africa are happy with the improved varieties.

ICRISAT’s collaboration for breeding with NARES in ESA resulted in release of 21 varieties in Malawi (6), Kenya (5), Mozambique (5), Tanzania (3) and Uganda (2). Strategic partnerships between NARS, commercial seed companies, input suppliers and farmer associations improved access to and marketing of seed. Private seed companies are now investing in production of commercial seed, selling to farmers through agro-dealers. Policy makers in ESA and donors are fully aware of the importance of pigeonpea as a food and cash crop, and Green pigeonpea comes to the rescue when supply of other vegetables dwindle during the dry months. (Right) Green pigeonpea is the main course. are now funding research.

Aug 2012

Pigeonpea Genome Pigeonpea is the first ‘orphan crop’, the first ‘non-industrial crop’ and the second food legume with a completed genome sequence Overview

• It will also be useful in identifying germplasm lines or advanced breeding lines with a broader genetic base for future breeding programs. • Modern genetics and breeding approaches such as genotyping by sequencing, markerassisted recurrent selection and genomic selection will improve the efficiency of pigeonpea breeding.

Pigeonpea is an important crop in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, grown on nearly 5 million hectares worldwide. Despite its importance for food security in the world’s poorest regions, it has been under-researched in the past.

Scientists, technicians and field helpers apply the benefits genome sequence information for crop improvement.

Principal Scientist Rajeev Varshney setting up a genomics experiment.

Rapid advances in genetic improvement of pigeonpea have been constrained by a lack of genomic resources coupled with low genetic diversity in the primary gene pool. Pigeonpea was neglected until 2005, when intensive efforts by ICRISAT, the CGIAR Generation Challenge Programme, the US National Science Foundation, the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and several other programs led to the development of significant genomic resources.

• This technology was used to generate 237.2 Giga base pair of sequence, which, along with Sanger-based Bacterial Artificial Chromosome- end sequences and a genetic map, was assembled into scaffolds representing about 73% (605.78 Mega base pair) of the pigeonpea genome. • Genome analysis led to the identification of 48,680 pigeonpea genes. A few hundred of these are unique to the crop and relate to drought tolerance, an important trait that can be transferred to other legume crops. • The research identified 309,052 simple sequence repeats (SSRs), and 23,410 SSR primers were designed. • Similarly, after aligning the transcript sequences from 12 genotypes, a total of 28,104 novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified. • The completion of the pigeonpea genome has made a significant contribution to the genomic resources available for pigeonpea.

The impact

• The availability of a genome sequence opens up new avenues for pigeonpea improvement. • The genome sequence will help harness pigeonpea’s genetic diversity by identifying molecular markers and genes for targeted traits, and will allow researchers to develop superior varieties and parental lines of hybrids.

A field of the popular pigeonpea hybrid called Asha.


In 2011, a global team comprising several organizations from China, Europe and the USA, and led by ICRISAT, sequenced the pigeonpea genome.

The innovation

• Illumina – a next generation sequencing technology – was used to generate the draft genome assembly of pigeonpea genotype ICPL 87119 (popularly known as Asha).

Pigeonpea, a very important legume in the dry tropics, provides protein for families and folder for livestock.

Comparison of pigeonpea and soybean chromosomes based on their genome sequences.

Beijing Genome Institute, Shenzhen, China; National Center for Genome Resources, Santa Fe; CGIAR Generation Challenge Programme; National University of Ireland, Galway; University of California, Davis; University of North Carolina; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York; University of Georgia; Monsanto Company; UNCSA; University of Copenhagen; BGI-Americas.

Aug 2012

Guinea-race sorghum hybrids Sharing the benefits of hybrid vigor with West African farmers, while retaining the adaptation and quality traits of local germplasm Overview

accessions that give the highest heterosis in crosses with a West African tester came from Cameroon, China and Zimbabwe. v Farmer seed producer organizations are empowered to produce hybrid seed through ’learning by doing’, with training and technical support from IER and ICRISAT v Emerging seed companies have bought and marketed all the hybrid seed that has been available every year since 2009, when large scale production began v Sorghum is changing from a subsistence crop to an increasingly important source of income for farmers.

Sorghum varieties of the Guinearace combine high grain quality with excellent adaptation for major parts of the Sudanian zone of West and Central Africa. Yes, despite their exceptional yield stability, yield levels rarely exceed 2 t ha-1 in farmers’ fields. In 1999, ICRISAT and partners started unlocking the genetic potential of these sorghums to enhance the productivity of this staple crop.

Sorghum breeders from Mali and Burkina Faso collaborating in the development of Guinea-race hybrids.

Farmers selecting panicles of Guinea-rice sorghum from demonstration plots sown with improved seed.

Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER) program, and guinea-race accessions of worldwide origin from the ICRISAT genebank in India v First experimental hybrids produced in 2004 on new female parents of both inter-racial and guinea-race backgrounds v Regional testing of new sorghum hybrids was conducted in collaboration with the national research programs in Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana. v The first four sorghum hybrids with Guinea-race parentage were released in Mali in 2008.

The impact

v Extensive on-farm testing of the new guinea-race hybrids enabled thorough comparison of yields against the well-adapted control variety, Tieble, under farmer-managed conditions. v Average yield of all eight developed hybrids showed 28% superiority over Tieble. v Two of the released hybrids, Fadda and Sewa, produced 450 kg ha-1 than Tieble, displaying 46% yield superiority across all environments. v Hybrid yield superiorities expressed across the entire range of productivity conditions and across the full range of soil fertility conditions and sowing dates. v Initial results show that high heterosis (hybrid superiority) can be obtained when parents from humid West Africa, East Africa, southern Africa and even Asia are crossed onto a West African tester. The

Farmers Days see a good response from discerning farmers.

The innovation

v Researchers developed hybrids based on well-adapted guinea-race parents that grow from Senegal across to Nigeria and Cameroon in West and Central Africa v A major task was to develop the first guinea-race female parents based on the cytoplasmic nuclear male-sterility (CMS) system v Genetic materials used included local varieties from Mali, inter-racial (GuineaCaudatum) breeding lines from the Malian


Hybrid (top) and male parent from Zimbabwe (bottom).

The Malian Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER); Institut National de l’Environment et des Recherches Agricoles (INERA), Burkina Faso; Institute for Agricultural Research, Nigeria; Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles, Senegal; and Selian Agricultural Research Institute, Ghana.

Aug 2012

Extra-early Pearl Millet Hybrids Developed via inter-institutional collaboration, integrating marker-assisted, participatory and conventional breeding methods, extra-early pearl millet hybrid HHB 67 Improved has enhanced downy-mildew resistance and yield The Impact

HHB 67 was rapidly adopted by farmers and the seed industry.

Principal Scientist CT Hash (in hat) identifying an off-type plant in a field of good pearl millet.

The Innovation

❖❖ HHB 67 was developed at CCSHAU by crossing inbred restorer line H 77/833-2 (bred at CCSHAU) onto an exceptionally early seed parent bred by ICRISAT from materials introduced from Kansas State University, USA), reflecting inter-institutional research efforts. ❖❖ Several DM-resistant versions of the seed parent were developed at ICRISAT using conventional pedigree and backcross breeding. ❖❖ Efforts involving ICRISAT and Advanced Research Institutes in the UK had identified two DM resistance QTLs in H 77/833-2. Two more were added using marker-assisted backcrossing (Figure 1) to develop more DM-resistant male parents. ❖❖ HHB 67 Improved, produced by crossing improved DMresistant seed parent 843-22A with improved restorer parent H 77/833-2-202, was free of DM incidence vs. 98% incidence in HHB 67 under high disease pressure (Figure 2). ❖❖ Over 3 years in national trials, HHB 67 Improved gave 1992 kg ha-1 grain yield and 4.5 t ha-1 stover yield (about 10% more than HHB 67). It was released in 2005 by authorities in India, and was the first public-bred field crop marker-assisted breeding product to reach farmers’ fields in India.

Fig 1. Two native downy mildew resistance QTL ( ) identified in H 77/833‑2, and two additional QTL ( ) pyramided through marker-assisted selection from donor parent ICMP 451.

With limited hybrid cultivar options for this zone, and having learned hard lessons about the vulnerability of singlecross hybrids to downy mildew (DM) disease, a proactive breeding effort was initiated by ICRISAT in 1991 to develop more DM-resistant versions of the seed parents of HHB 67.


100 HHB 67 HHB 67 Improved 80

4.0 98 3.0


4.50 4.10








0.05 GY

DM incidence (%)

Large-scale adoption of hybrids in India has contributed to 73% increase in pearl millet productivity during the last 25 years. However, the drier and most drought-prone arid parts of Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat receiving <400 mm of seasonal rainfall, benefitted little from hybrid technology due to lack of adapted hybrids, with early maturity being one of the essential requirements. An extra early-maturing hybrid, HHB 67 (matures in 65 days) developed on an ICRISAT-bred malesterile lineby CCS Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU) was released in 1990, and was rapidly adopted on by farmers in Haryana and Rajasthan.

❖❖ In 2002 (12 years after its release), HHB 67 was cultivated on about 774,000 ha in Haryana and Rajasthan. Superior performing HHB 67 Improved spread to 875,000 ha by 2011 (6 years after its release). ❖❖ Net additional benefits to the farming community from cultivation of HHB 67 Improved over the local varieties in Rajasthan and over HHB 67 in Haryana in 2011 alone reached Rs 675 million (US$13.5 million). ❖❖ Seed production of HHB 67 Improved gave a net income of US$6.4 million in 2011 alone to the smallholder seed producers in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. It also generated at least 900,000 person days of employment (45% for women). ❖❖ HHB 67 Improved helped stabilize

GY and SY (t ha-1)





Fig 2. Grain yield (GY), stover yield (SY) and downy mildew incidence (DM) in HHB 67 and HHB 67 Improved.

pearl millet production and release land for crop diversification with sesame, cluster bean, and food legumes. The short duration of HHB 67 and HHB 67 Improved also facilitates cultivation of winter season rotational crops such as mustard, wheat and chickpea, thus doubling cropping intensity and substantially increasing incomes.


John Innes Centre, Norwich; Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Aberystwyth; University of Wales, Bangor, UK; and Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU), Hisar, Haryana, India Pearl millet is an inexpensive source of dietary energy, protein and important nutrients in the dry tropics of Asia and Africa.

July 2012

Sweet Sorghum A smart, multipurpose (food, feed, fodder, fiber and fuel) crop adapted to drought and climate change provides higher incomes for farmers Overview

Sweet sorghum is similar to grain sorghum but accumulates sweet juice in its stalk. Traditionally used as livestock fodder, the stalks can now be crushed to extract juice as raw material for ethanol production. Because of its short growing period, high biomass and bio-product potential, tolerance to drought, water-logging, saline and acidic soils, low water requirement and greater income opportunities, sweet sorghum is the preferred crop for cultivation on dry lands in the semiarid tropics. Sweet sorghum is recognized as an alternate feedstock for bioethanol production by the Government of India (National Biofuel Policy, December 2009). The sweet sorghum ethanol value chain shows a positive net energy balance of 7.5 and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 86%, compared to fossil fuels.

Literature on sweet sorghum is a prized gift for a VIP visitor.

Director General Dar and Principal Scientist Belum VS Reddy in a field of NJ2, a sweet sorghum variety.

❖❖ Many improved sweet sorghum female hybrid parents and restorer lines were developed and new hybrid combinations were identified to exploit heterosis for sugar yield. ❖❖ Adopting the right cultivars and crop production technology, including technical backstopping, enhances on-farm yields by 50- 160%. ❖❖ There are no food-fuel tradeoffs with sweet sorghum cultivation as farmers realized 1.5 to 2 t ha-1 sugar yield and 2 to 2.5 t ha-1 grain yield, from demonstrations in their fields. ❖❖ About 50 liters of ethanol can be produced per ton of sweet sorghum stalk. ❖❖ It was shown that a multi-feedstock based distillery with government policy support can be sustainable. ❖❖ Sweet sorghum bagasse (residue after crushing) with leaves is a valuable feed resource. Complete feed blocks based on bagasse are highly palatable, cost effective, and improve yields of both milk (cows) and meat (sheep). ❖❖ Syrup from sweet sorghum juice can also be used as a biofuel feedstock as well as sugar substitute in the pharma and food industries.

❖❖ Varieties SPV 422 and ICSV 93046 are being widely cultivated in the Philippines for vinegar production and allied uses, and will be released in 2012. ❖❖ Technical backstopping on sweet sorghum cultivar choice, cultivation and utilization was provided to many distilleries in India, the Philippines and China. ❖❖ Varieties ICSV 93046, ICSV 25274 and ICSV 25280 have been identified for release in India due to their superior performance at the All India Coordinated Sorghum Improvement Project (AICSIP) multi-location trials in three years. ❖❖ About 4000 samples of improved sweet sorghum female hybrid parents, restorers/ varieties and hybrids have been supplied to over 42 countries.

Crushing the stalks to extract juice.

The impacts

❖❖ Many sweet sorghum hybrids were developed by seed companies using ICRISAT-bred materials. ❖❖ The first sweet sorghum hybrid released in India was CSH 22SS in 2005. The female hybrid parent (ICSB 38) was from ICRISAT.

The first batch of ethanol distilled from sweet sorghum juice at Rusni Distillery.

Bagasse is used to make feedblocks for livestock.

The innovation

❖❖ Research on genetic enhancement at ICRISAT showed good variability for stalk sugar content and juice volume in sweet sorghum, providing ample scope to improve genotypes for high sugar/ethanol yield. ❖❖ The G X E interactions are significant, hence cultivars need to be customized for different agro-ecological zones and seasons. ❖❖ The heterosis for candidate traits for sugar yield, ie, stalk and juice yield, has been identified. However, no significant heterosis for Brix% was observed.

Philippines envoy visits ICRISAT sweet sorghum field. 2006.


The partners include NARS, Advanced Research Institutes, private sector seed companies and farmers. (Left) At the Rusni Distillery. (Right) Scientist and farmer in a sweet sorghum field. The tall stalks promise a plentiful produce.

July 2012

Genetic Resources for Food Security ICRISAT’s genebank conserves more than 120,000 accessions and supports the global crop improvement community in developing improved cultivars ❖❖ National partners have released more than 800 varieties in 79 countries utilizing germplasm and breeding lines from ICRISAT. ❖❖ The ICRISAT genebank has restored native germplasm collections to several countries in Asia and Africa.


The Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) contributes enormously towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals of food security, poverty alleviation, environmental protection and sustainable development.


The genebank at ICRISAT headquarters holding 120,006 germplasm accessions is one of the world’s largest repositories of its mandate crops - sorghum, pearl millet, chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut, including wild relatives and six small millets, from 144 countries. ICRISAT regional genebanks in Niger, Kenya and Zimbabwe conserve mostly working collections and mini core collections.

Manager, Genebank, DVSSR Sastry (L), and Head of the Genebank, HD Upadhyaya with containers ready for shipment to Svalbard.

Germplasm accessions are stored in well-labelled airtight containers in temperatures ranging from –20°C to +4°C.

FAO of the United Nations; CGIAR Consortium; Global Crops Diversity Trust, Rome; Brazilian Agricultural Research Cooperation (EMBRAPA); International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA); International Cooperation Centre for Agronomic Research for Development (CIRAD), France; National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR),

The Innovation

❖❖ To enhance germplasm utilization, ICRISAT scientists developed core (10% of entire collection) and mini core (1% of entire collection) collections for all mandate crops and finger millet and foxtail millet, representing the genetic diversity in the collections. ❖❖ Evaluation of mini core collections by ICRISAT, NARS and ARI scientists in 24 countries resulted in identification of new and promising sources for tolerance/resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses, and for agronomic and nutritional traits. ❖❖ Molecular characterization of mini core and trait-specific germplasm subsets help to unravel additional information and the usefulness of accessions. ❖❖ Wild relatives of mandate crops assembled at ICRISAT genebank are good sources of higher levels of resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, nutritional and agronomic traits.

Director General Dar officially hands over the first 20,000 accessions from ICRISAT to the Svalbard Vault.

The Impact

❖❖ ICRISAT genebank has become a major source of genetic diversity available to researchers for improvement of mandate crops. ❖❖ More than 1.4 million samples of germplasm accessions have been shared with researchers in 145 countries.

Only healthy and pest-free seed is selected for storage.

Genebank accessions are regularly checked for viability and duplicated when necessary.

Seeds of germplasm accessions are maintained at international standards. ICRISAT has safely duplicated over 86,000 of its accessions at the Global Seed Vault, Svalbard, Norway. More will be duplicated by 2014. Accessions have been characterized and evaluated for morpho-agronomic and nutritional traits, and for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, and passport information (characterization) has been documented and shared with the global research community.

120,006 accessions, representing all ICRISAT crops are conserved in the Genebank.

Scientists and dignataries from around the world gather for the inauguration of the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, 26 February 2008.

ICAR, New Delhi; Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), Kanpur, India; national agricultural research systems (NARS) and universities in different countries.

July 2012

Hybrid Parents Research Consortium Public-private partnerships producing scientific innovations and products for the poor Overview


ICRISAT crop scientists work with partners to develop improved varieties, hybrids, and hybrid parents for increased grain/fodder yield potential in farmers’ field. Between 1976 and 2011, partners in 79 countries released over 800 varieties/ hybrids using breeding materials from ICRISAT.

The innovation

❖❖ Recognizing the role of private sector seed companies in developing and marketing hybrids, ICRISAT set up the Hybrid Parents Research Consortium (HPRC) in 2000. ❖❖ Private seed companies contribute small annual grants to become members of HPRC. ICRISAT uses the funds for core crop improvement research.

Meeting of the HPRC Advisory Committee. March 2012.

❖❖ Linkages between ICRISAT and private sector seed companies within and outside India are strengthened. ❖❖ Farmers have benefitted through increased access to improved hybrid seed at affordable costs, and enhanced yield and incomes. ❖❖ This public-private partnership is the first in the CGIAR to tap private sector funds for public research, and to optimize synergies to swiftly move research products to farmers. ❖❖ HPRC is the precursor of the Agribusiness and Innovation Platform at ICRISAT. Other CGIAR Centers have used the HPRC model in hybrid parents’ research.

The impacts

Highlights of survey undertaken in 2012

Sorghum ❖❖ A total of 54 hybrids were developed in 2000-2009 by seed companies, of which 30 hybrids were developed using ICRISAT-bred materials. ❖❖ HPRC members directly utilized 67-100% parental lines from ICRISAT for development of hybrids.

Pearl millet A large-seeded pearl millet variety with high Fe and Zn content.

Hybrid pigeonpea grown from consortium promoted seed.

❖❖ A total of 103 hybrids were developed in 2000-2010 by the seed companies, of which 62 hybrids were developed using ICRISAT-bred materials. ❖❖ HPRC members used 86-100% of ICRISAT-bred parental lines to develop hybrids.

Pigeonpea ❖❖ Evaluation of hybrids led to the release of world’s first commercial food legume hybrid, ICPH 2671, by Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in 2010. ❖❖ Plan to provide hybrid seed to plant at least 100,000 ha by 2014 is in progress.

Screening for downy mildew resistance in pearl millet.

Consortium members during a pigeonpea field day at ICRISAT.

❖❖ Private sector seed companies (and public sector institutions) participate in field days at ICRISAT to select breeding materials for developing hybrids. ❖❖ All ICRISAT-bred materials remain in the public domain as International Public Goods. No seed company has exclusive rights. ❖❖ Scientists in public research institutions have free access to the improved breeding materials. ❖❖ Member seed companies provide feedback on the performance of ICRISATdeveloped materials and on farmers’ needs and preferences. ❖❖ Currently HPRC has 47 memberships across 3 consortia (Sorghum, Pearl millet and Pigeonpea)

Sorghum displaying hybrid vigor in healthy foliage and well-filled heads.


❖❖ The partners include NARS, Advanced Research Institutes, private sector seed companies and farmers. Scientists and farmers examine hybrids in the field.

July 2012

Open Access Repository An interoperable open access institutional repository for ICRISAT knowledge products Overview

harvested by special academic search services such as Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) and OAIster, and is indexed by popular search engines such as Google and Google Scholar.

ICRISAT’s Open Access Repository (OAR) showcases 40 years of ICRISAT publications produced by our researchers and scholars. The repository holds postprints of research papers published in journals; conference papers; book chapters; monographs; training manuals; annual reports and other research documents produced by the Institute.

Manager, Information and Library Services, M Madhan, doesn’t have to open a book anymoe. These and several thousand publications are available at everyone’s desktop through OAR.

Anyone with internet access can access the OAR, which provides free, immediate, permanent access to the full text of all the publications.

The Innovation

❖❖ U  sers can employ the OAR to build searches by choosing various access points and search features within them. ❖❖ Metadata (data about the data) of all the documents in the repository is

❖❖ The contents of OAR form part of AGRIS –the global public domain agriculture database, and VOA3R – the Virtual Open Access Agriculture and Aquaculture Repository. ❖❖ As of July 2012 the repository had registered more than 90,000 download counts from more than 75 countries.

Visit: ❖❖ T  he ICRISAT OAR facilitates online access to all major research publications.

The Impact

The stylistic “Open lock” is a well-chosen logo for the OAR.

No barriers! ICRISAT’s research output is available to all.

❖❖ The repository has recorded over 3,500 unique visitors every month since its launch on 2 May 2011.  bout 50% of the ❖❖ A users to the repository are redirected from Google, and about 10% are directed from Google Scholar. July 2012

Seed Systems in sub-Saharan Africa Facilitating access by poor farmers to seeds of ICRISAT’s improved varieties in sub-Saharan Africa Overview

Commercial agriculture is growing in importance, requiring that seed systems deliver high-quality seed of food crops and meet market demands of agro-processors. Numerous constraints limit the performance of seed systems in subSaharan Africa including limited access to seed of new varieties; limited supplies of seed; and the lack of enabling policies and institutional environments. ICRISAT works with partners to support development of open seed markets and local seed companies for supply of quality seed at affordable prices. Sale of seed in small packets makes it easy for poor farmers to buy improved varieties.

v Over 450 farmers organized as farmer clubs, farmer field schools and farmer marketing groups linked to the nongovernmental organization, CARE; 233 farmers linked to NASFAM, and 73 farmers linked to the Millennium Villages Project have produced more than 2,808 tons of certified groundnut seeds during the past 4 years under the Tropical Legumes 2 project partnerships. v In Tanzania, certified seed is produced by over 100 farmer groups under similar contracting arrangement. They produced a total of 376 tons of certified groundnut seed for the Agricultural Seed Agency during the past 4 years. v In West and Central Africa (WCA), ICRISAT supported the development of local seed companies under the West Africa Seed Alliance.

The innovation

Seed Categories Breeder seed is directly controlled by the originating plant breeder, sponsoring institution or firm that supplies the initial source of seed. There are no certification standards for breeder seed. Foundation seed is pure seed produced from breeder’s seed (or foundation seed) under the control of the originator or sponsoring institution or licensee, and maintained by companies or state agencies.

v To guarantee sustained production, ICRISAT has arranged contract farming for seed production through a seed revolving fund (SRF) in eastern and southern Africa (ESA) and community-based seed systems in West and Central Africa (WCA). v Long-term training in seed production has been linked to SRF activities, through the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM), the Agricultural Seed Agency in Tanzania, local seed companies under the West Africa Seed Alliance, NGOs such as the Citizen’s Network for Foreign Affairs, and an agro-dealer network for input supply and output marketing.

The impact

v Currently the combined efforts of ICRISAT and national systems provide 27 tons breeder seed of the five popular released groundnut varieties annually. v Seed production has been going on for 12 years. So far, the SRF has contributed 707 tons of foundation seeds and 1,380 tons of certified seeds of improved groundnut varieties, and 12.21 tons breeder and 197.40 tons foundation seed of improved pigeonpea varieties for Malawi. A groundnut seed production plot.

Registered seed is produced from foundation or other approved seed stocks. The seed must be of a quality suitable for the production of certified seed.

v Community-based organizations produced more than 130 tons of certified seed and over 1,000 tons of Quality Declared Seed v In Niger and Mali, 124 farmer associations and 98 smallholder farmers were trained in seed production technologies and business skills. v Adoption rates of improved varieties is estimated at 57% of the total area in Malawi, 35% in Tanzania, 59% in selected districts of Uganda and 57% in Zambia for ESA, 27% in Mali and 22% in Nigeria for WCA. v The reductions in unit costs of improved varieties range from 21% in Malawi to 44% in Uganda, compared to local varieties.

Certified seed is produced from foundation, registered, certified, or other approved seed stocks. It must be verified to be pure with a high germination rate, and cannot be used to produce certified seed again without the approval of the state certification agency. Seed lots must meet specified standards and pass field inspection before being sold as certified seed. Quality declared seed is from a system of seed quality control developed by FAO that is less expensive than regular certification procedures.

Meeting of local seed company representatives.

Partners Clockwise from top left: Farmers at a seed fair show interest in new varieties; Grading groundnut; A seed processing factory; Bags of seed ready for transportation to market.

CARE; Irish Aid; NASFAM, USAID; Millennium Villages Project; Common Fund for Commodities; NARS and NGOs.

Aug 2012

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Jewels of ICRISAT posters  

Jewels of ICRISAT posters

Jewels of ICRISAT posters  

Jewels of ICRISAT posters

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