All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) for Chickpea identified two desi chickpea (Bengal chana) varieties — Pusa 10216 and MABC-WR-SA-1 – for farming. These were developed in record time through genomics-assisted breeding in a first-of-its-kind effort by ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) and University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in Raichur, Karnataka, respectively, in collaboration with ICRISAT.
AICRP announced the decision at its recently-concluded 24th Annual Group Meet. The improved variants of chickpea are drought-tolerant and disease-resistant.
“It is a successful story of collaboration of ICAR institutes, a state agricultural university and an international organisation like ICRISAT,” said Trilochan Mohapatra, director general, ICAR, and secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Government of India.
“Genomics interventions in breeding, like molecular breeding, will significantly enhance crop productivity of legumes like chickpea,” he added.
“We are very excited to see the outputs of collaboration of ICAR, UAS-R and ICRISAT in the form of improved varieties,” said Peter Carberry, director general, ICRISAT.
“I am sure such collaborative efforts of ICRISAT with partners will benefit smallholder farmers not only in India, but also in sub-Saharan Africa,” he added.