October 6, 2021 10:10:28 am
Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has announced the development of three new chickpea varieties with traits like enhanced drought tolerance, disease resistance, and high yield, that will soon be available to Indian farmers.
Developed through Genomics-Assisted Breeding by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the ICRISAT, the three new varieties have been notified for cultivation by the Central Varietal Release Committee, said a statement from ICRISAT.
The new varieties – BG 4005, IPC L4-14, and IPCMB 19-3, according to the institute, are a response to climate and other challenges being faced in the regions of chickpea cultivation in the country. Of these three varieties, BGM 4005 and IPCMB 19-3 were among the 35 crop varieties dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 28. ICAR-Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR) in Kanpur and ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi collaborated in the project.
In the statement, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research, and Director General, ICAR, said that genomics-driven interventions to enhance crop yield and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses are the need of the hour under changing climate. Dr. Jacqueline Hughes, Director General, ICRISAT, said that these new varieties are well poised to strengthen food and nutrition security as well as livelihoods in India by providing adaptation mechanisms to the climate-related challenges confronting the agriculture sector.
Pointing to the threat of drought in chickpea growing regions of India, Dr. Arvind Kumar, ICRISAT’s Deputy Director-General – Research, said that drought alone was the major cause of up to 60 percent annual yield losses in chickpea. “Changing climate warrants development of cultivars that can attain their maximum potential under drought stress in rain-fed environments as well as in disease prone-environments,” Dr. Kumar said, explaining the need for sustained and continued research to improve the crop.
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