National Chickpea Innovation Platform: Way forward in Ethiopia
Bringing together all actors in the chickpea value chain was a key focus for setting up a National Chickpea Innovation Platform. Other new initiatives include enhancing chickpea productivity and marketing based on the targets of the Ethiopian Growth and Transformation Plan 2 (GTP2) and enhancing household consumption for nutrition and food security– were discussed at a recent workshop in Ethiopia.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - National Chickpea Innovation Platform: Way forward in Ethiopia
Happenings 24 December 2015
(L) Mr Ramaswami, in ICPL 14003 field in Ramapuram village, Mahabubnagar district. (R) Ms Nirmala, in ICPL 332
WR field in Tandur village, Rangareddy district.
to page 2...4
New hybrid and varieties of pigeonpea
released by Telangana, India
The state varietal release committee of Telangana
released a pigeonpea hybrid and two varieties
developed by ICRISAT specifically suited for different
agroecologies across the state.
ICPH 2740 – released under the name Mannem Konda
Kandi – is the first pigeonpea hybrid for the state of
Telangana. It was released from the Regional Agricultural
Research Station (RARS), Palem, Mahabubnagar district.
The hybrid possess resistance to wilt and sterility mosaic
diseases and is suitable for deep black soils of the state.
With a yield potential of 3.5 tons per ha it registered a 40%
yield increase over the local cultivars.
ICPL 14003 (PRG 176) was released from the Regional
Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Palem,
Mahabubnagar district, under the name Ujwala. The
variety has yield potential of 2.5 tons per ha and matures
in 130 days. It is resistant to terminal drought and is
suitable for light chalka soils (light red soils with low
water retention) of Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda and
ICPL 332 WR (TDRG 4) was released by the name Hanuma
from Agricultural Research Station, Tandur, Rangareddy
district. This variety has a yield potential of 3 tons per ha
and is suitable for sandy loam soils. It is resistant to wilt
and tolerant to Helicoverpa.
Research collaboration with Professor Jayashankar
Telangana State Agricultural University led to the
development and release of the above varieties and
hybrid. The released varieties and hybrid are preferred by
traders owing to their high dal (split pigeonpea) recovery
percentage, milling and organo-leptic attributes.
The released varieties are well suited to the soil type and
rainfall pattern of each agroecology in the state. In addition
their high yields and disease resistance will enhance
productivity and incomes for the smallholder farmer. There
are three distinct agroecologies in the state (i) areas with
annual rainfall <700 mm with light chalka soils in
Mahbubnagar and Nalgonda districts, (ii) areas with annual
rainfall <900 mm with red sandy soils in Khammam,
Warangal, Medak, Nizamabad and Rangareddy districts and
(iii) areas with black to heavy black soils with annual rainfall
ranging from 800 to 1000 mm in Adilabad, Rangareddy,
Medak, Nizamabad and Khammam districts.
Photos: R Vijay Kumar, ICRISAT
2 ICRISAT HAPPENINGS 24 DECEMBER 2015 1707
New varieties of pigeonpea... from page 2
Massive seed production of these improved varieties and
hybrids have been launched through a collaboration of
ICRISAT, state agricultural universities, state seed
development corporations, National Seeds Corporation,
departments of agriculture, NGOs, progressive farmers and
private seed companies. These efforts resulted in the
production of 657 tons of hybrid seed in kharif 2014 and
507 tons of hybrid seed in 2015 season. For 2016 it is
planned to produce 700 tons of hybrid seed which can
cover 140,000 ha. The governments of Maharashtra,
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha are distributing the
hybrid seed to farmers on subsidized basis.
Pigeonpea is an important crop in Telangana cultivated in
more than 350,000 ha. It is an integral component of
rainfed cropping systems and is cultivated by small and
marginal farmers either as a sole crop and intercropped
with castor, sorghum, maize, mung bean, soybean and
cotton. Low productivity (around 500 kg per ha for the last
5 decades) and susceptibility to wilt and sterility mosaic
diseases which are endemic in the state constrain
Pigeonpea is cultivated in nearly 4 million ha in India.
There are distinct agroecologies similar to Telangana in
Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya
Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat.
Pigeonpea hybrids are already gaining momentum in
these states. These varieties and hybrid can be further
expanded to other states to enhance productivity and to
combat climate change. g
Dr Abhishek Rathore, Senior Scientist, Breeding
Informatics Unit, has been awarded with the prestigious
Dr DN Lal Memorial Lecture Award of Indian Society of
Agricultural Statistics (ISAS) for his significant contribution
in the field of statistics, biometrics and bioinformatics.
This award is a biannual award and given for outstanding
work in the field of statistics.
He received this award on 14 December during the 69th
Annual Conference of ISAS in Kota, Rajasthan, India. ISAS is
the first society of agricultural statisticians and was formed
in 1947. g
2013 2014 2015 2016
Ar�a ��d�r �����a��� by hybrids
2005 (7) 2006 (7) 2007 (6) 2008 (7) 2009 (4) Mean (31)
Year (no of loca�ons)
ICPH 2740 Asha (check)
Performance of ICPH �n m�����oca�on �es�n�
Maharashtra Andhra Pradesh Madhya Pradesh Average
Loca�ons in �ndia
ICPH 2740 on-farm trials (2008 - 2010)
3ICRISAT HAPPENINGS 24 DECEMBER 2015 1707
National Chickpea Innovation Platform: Way forward in Ethiopia
Bringing together all actors in the chickpea value chain
was a key focus for setting up a National Chickpea
Innovation Platform. Other new initiatives include
enhancing chickpea productivity and marketing based on
the targets of the Ethiopian Growth and Transformation
Plan 2 (GTP2) and enhancing household consumption for
nutrition and food security– were discussed at a recent
workshop in Ethiopia.
Participants generally agreed that chickpea has made
remarkable increase in productivity over the last decade
but has not reached its potential. Notably, chickpea
productivity in Israel is 6.1 tons per ha, the highest in the
world. The GTP2 has set a target of increasing the average
productivity of chickpea from the current 1.91 tons per ha
to 2.8 tons per ha and the total production from the
current 0.45 million tons to 0.69 million tons by 2020.
Opportunities for achieving this goal include:
▪▪ Double cropping with cereals (tef, wheat, barley, maize
▪▪ Production in niches currently not being used;
▪▪ Increasing the number of chickpea processors;
▪▪ Involvement of research and development institutions
to tackle biotic and abiotic stresses and design improved
▪▪ Enhanced adoption of improved varieties and their
▪▪ Growing demand in major export destinations thus
assuring farmers a market for their produce;
▪▪ Proximity to African (Egypt and Sudan), European and
Middle Eastern markets relative to competitors such as
Mexico, Canada and Australia;
▪▪ The ‘Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa’
(SITA), a project linking Indian investors with African
Many constraints along the chickpea value chain were also
identified by the participants.
▪▪ Most international markets demand larger seed of
uniform size. Produce from Ethiopia is of low quality
(small grain size, mixed and impure) and faces strong
competition from other chickpea exporting countries
(Australia, Canada, Mexico).
▪▪ Current varieties lack traits of interest such as combining
high yield, mechanized production and harvesting,
market preferences and pest/disease resistance as well
as tolerance to abiotic stress factors.
▪▪ Chickpea has received limited attention in terms of input
supply especially fertilizers; only limited efforts have
been put on improvement and exploitation of biological
nitrogen fixation capacity.
▪▪ Chickpea is considered a secondary crop after
investment in the main cereal crop. It faces stiff
competition for resources, inputs and labor from cereals
(tef, barley and wheat) which have better yields, allow
mechanized operations and fetch better prices.
▪▪ Relative to cereals, chickpea does not receive sufficient
attention by the national and regional extension systems.
▪▪ Technologies for effective cereal-chickpea double
cropping are inadequate; major cereal production areas
are under mechanized production while mechanization
of chickpea production is still in rudimentary stages.
▪▪ Supply of seed of improved varieties is limited.
▪▪ Limited value addition in terms of scale and level and
associated price volatility in the local (and export) market.
The stakeholders identified strategic interventions, some of
which are currently being undertaken through various
projects while others are seen as gaps.
▪▪ Developing and disseminating stable varieties that
combine high yield and resistance to biotic and abiotic
stress as well as mechanized production.
▪▪ Development and promotion of integrated crop
management practices suitable for chickpea production
in different cropping systems (integrated soil fertility
management, rhizobia inoculants, soil moisture
management, integrated pest and disease management).
▪▪ Strengthen the capacity of national and regional
researchers for chickpea crop improvement (breeding,
agronomy, mechanization, seed multiplication and post-
▪▪ Strengthen/establish chickpea seed producing farmers
groups and cooperatives besides building the capacity
of seed enterprises and other informal and semi-
formal sector players to produce and distribute quality
▪▪ For early generation seed supply, Ethiopian Seed
Enterprises (ESE) as well as regional seed enterprises
should be encouraged to produce and avail basic seed
of chickpea. The public and private seed sector should
be encouraged to produce chickpea seed in rotation
to page 4...4
Dr Asnake Fikre leads the establishment of national chickpea
4 ICRISAT HAPPENINGS 24 DECEMBER 2015 1707
▪▪ To promote mechanization, the
government should encourage
service providers to identify,
introduce and test pre- and
postharvest farm machinery
prototypes and technologies
(planter, cultivator, harvester
and thresher) and facilitate
local industries to fabricate and
manufacture farm machinery.
▪▪ To enhance consumption, and
thereby increase demand, it was
recommended to develop and
promote different recipes and
products of chickpea.
▪▪ To fill the gap on market
information, the need for regular
socio-economic and market
surveys was underscored.
The national chickpea innovation platform will be led by
the Directorate of Crops Research, Ethiopian Institute of
Agricultural Research (EIAR). It will work through thematic
working groups: seed systems, marketing and value
addition, production, nutrition and gender and theme
leaders will be members of a steering committee under the
leadership of the Director of Crops Research, EIAR. The
members agreed to meet twice a year and the operational
resources of the platform will be shared among partners. A
6-member task force was formed to fast-track the
operationalization of the activities of the platform. The
members of the task force are: Dr Mekasha Chichaybelu,
Tropical Legumes III (TLIII) National Coordinator, EIAR;
Dr Chris Ojiewo, Senior Scientist - Legumes Breeding,
ICRISAT, Dr Sheleme Beyene, PI, Scaling-up Pulse
Innovations for Food and Nutrition Security in Southern
Ethiopia, Hawassa University; Dr Daniel Dawuro, Director,
Legumes Value Chain, Ethiopian Agricultural
Transformation Agency (ATA); Dr Abdul Sammed, Director
Regulatory and Input Services, Ministry of Agriculture &
Natural Resource (MoANR), and Dr Yohannes Assefa,
Secretary, Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices
Processors-Exporters Association (EPOSPEA). The
membership of the platform was mapped to various
stakeholders including those not represented during the
In his opening remarks, Dr Asnake Fikre, Director of Crops
Research, EIAR, said, “My pride as the Director of Crops
Research is not about the huge number of projects
operating in the country or on a crop, but the impact
created. As such it is important for the stakeholders to talk
to one another to avoid duplication.”
Dr Tracy Powell, Agricultural Development Officer, USAID-
Ethiopia, emphasized the need for various development
Project: Tropical Legumes III
Inverstor: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Partners: CIAT, IITA, EIAR, other NARS in sub-Saharan Africa
CGIAR Research Program: Grain Legumes
partners to work together with chickpea stakeholders for
better synergies and more efficient resource utilization.
She singled out the need for USAID-supported projects to
work with TLIII project on an integrated seed sector
development. Dr Amsale Mengistu, Senior Program Officer,
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation office in Ethiopia,
expressed satisfaction with the Tropical Legumes Project
(Phases I and II). She emphasized the need to form
innovative partnerships with likeminded stakeholders and
players in the chickpea value chain to enhance the gains
made so far and make even greater impacts by filling the
gaps through the on-going TLIII project.
Dr Emmanuel Monyo, TL III Project Coordinator, ICRISAT,
reiterated continued commitment of the project to
realizing the common agenda and outlined how TL III is
well integrated into the 2020 vision of the GTP2.
The workshop was held in Debre-Zeit from 8-10 Dec.
Participants included representatives from international
organizations (International Livestock Research Institute
(ILRI), International Centre for Agricultural Research in the
Dry Areas (ICARDA), International Centre for Tropical
Agriculture (CIAT) and ICRISAT), national organizations
(EIAR-Debre Zeit, EIAR-Melkassa); regional organizations
(Oromia, Tigray, Amhara, Sothern); research institutes;
MoANR; Regional Bureaus of Agriculture; ESE; ATA;
Hawassa University; processors/traders/exporters
(Agricultural Commodities Supplies); private seed
companies (BaleGreen); and post-harvest handlers. g
National Chickpea Innovation Platform... from page 3
Participants at the workshop.
5ICRISAT HAPPENINGS 24 DECEMBER 2015 1707
Mapping Direct Seeded Rice in Raichur District of
Authors: Gumma MK, Uppala D, Mohammed IA,
Whitbread AM and Mohammed IR
Published: 2015. Photogrammetric engineering and
remote sensing, 81 (11). pp. 873-880.
Abstract: Across South Asia, the cost of rice cultivation has
increased due to labor shortage. Direct seeding of rice is
widely promoted in order to reduce labor demand during
crop establishment stage, and to benefit poor farmers. To
facilitate planning and to track farming practice changes,
this study presents techniques to spatially distinguish
between direct seeded and transplanted rice fields using
multiple-sensor remote sensing imagery. The district of
Raichur, a major region in northeast Karnataka, where
irrigated rice is grown and direct seeded rice has been
widely promoted since 2000, was selected as a case study.
Development of a new CMS system in pigeonpea utilizing
crosses with Cajanus lanceolatus (WV Fitgz) van der
Authors: Srikanth S, Saxena RK, Rao MV, Varshney RK and
Published: 2015. Euphytica, 204 (02). pp. 289-302
Abstract: Cytoplasmic male sterility is an important
biological tool which is now available to pigeonpea
breeders to exploit heterosis/hybrid vigor. A variety of CMS
systems have been developed when wild relatives of
pigeonpea from different gene pools were crossed as the
female parent with cultivated types as the male parent.
This paper reports a second source of CMS developed by
using the cultivated pigeonpea as the female parent and
one of its wild relative Cajanus lanceolatus (WV Fitgz) van
der Maesen as the pollen donor.
Adoption of Integrated Food-Energy Systems: Improved
cookstoves and pigeonpea in southern Malawi
Authors: Orr A, Kambombo B, Roth C, Harris D, and Doyle V
Published: 2015. Experimental Agriculture, 51 (02).
Abstract: We analyse the adoption of an Integrated
Food-Energy System (IFES) in southern Malawi. The IFES
combined the improved cookstove (chitetezo mbaula in
Chichewa), designed to reduce demand for fuelwood, with
the pigeonpea variety Mthawajuni, which increased both
food supply and supply of fuelwood from pigeonpea stems.
Adoption of the improved cookstove was found to be
higher among households that were better off and where
women had greater control over decision-making.
However, adoption of the IFES was not associated with
reduced demand for fuelwood from forests and hills or
reduced frequency of collection. IFES adopters might have
high fuelwood consumption because they were better off,
but fuelwood consumption in better-off households did
not differ significantly between IFES adopters and non-
adopters. Pigeonpea increased food supply for adopter
households, including children aged less than five years.
Consequently, the IFES has had mixed results, improving
food supply but not reducing demand for fuelwood.
Households ranked early maturity, fuelwood and yield as
the three most important reasons for preferring
Mthawajuni over other varieties of pigeonpea. The plant
breeding programme for pigeonpea in Malawi should
evaluate improved varieties not only for earliness and grain
yield but also for the production of fuelwood. Improved
varieties with desirable market traits have had limited
success in the absence of reliable markets and price
Quantitative trait loci associated with constitutive traits
control water use in pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum
(L.) R. Br.].
Authors: Aparna K, Nepolean T, Srivastsava RK, Kholová J,
Rajaram V, Kumar S, Rekha B, Senthilvel S, Hash CT
and Vadez V
Published: Plant Biology, 17 (05). pp. 1073-1084. (In Press)
Abstract: There is substantial genetic variation for drought
adaption in pearl millet in terms of traits controlling plant
water use. It is important to understand genomic regions
responsible for these traits. Here, F7 recombinant inbred
lines were used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) and
allelic interactions for traits affecting plant water use, and
their relevance is discussed for crop productivity in water-
Global Food Security Support
Analysis Data (GFSAD) at Nominal
1 km (GCAD) Derived from Remote
Sensing in Support of Food Security
in the Twenty-First Century: Current
Achievements and Future
Possibilities pp. 131-160 in Land
Resources Monitoring, Modeling,
and Mapping with Remote Sensing
(Thenkabail PS, ed)
Authors: Teluguntla P, Thenkabail PS, Xiong J, Gumma MK,
Giri C, Milesi C, Ozdogan M, Congalton RG and Tilton J
Inland Valley Wetland Cultivation and Preservation for
Africa’s Green and Blue Revolution Using Multi-Sensor
Remote Sensing pp. 227-256 in Land Resources
Monitoring, Modeling, and Mapping with Remote Sensing
(Thenkabail PS, ed)
Authors: Gumma MK, Thenkabail PS, Mohammed IA,
Teluguntla P and Dheeravath V
Published: 2015. CRC Press
ICRISAT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium
About ICRISAT: www.icrisat.org
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ICRISAT appreciates the support of CGIAR donors
to help overcome poverty, malnutrition and
environmental degradation in the harshest dryland
regions of the world. See http://www.icrisat.org/
icrisat-donors.htm for full list of donors.
Soil plays a most important part in not only making water available
or natural resources available… forests, biodiversity, wildlife…
everything! But at the same time soil needs attention. The whole
purpose of this Year of the Soils is to draw the attention of
policymakers, organisations, civil society and farmers that they start
attending to the health of soils carefully for their own survival!
Groundnut crop can be grown in highly degraded desert soils.
For example in Bikaner, Rajasthan, groundnut cultivation is
expanding under sprinkler irrigation and the farmers are able
to get huge profits from groundnut cultivation in the desert
soils otherwise unfit for cultivation.
I think can a lot can be done and lot can learned from the developed
countries where there is lot of care and emphasis on the quality of the soils.
I come from Czech Republic where the agriculture is generally on a very
high level. They still maintain the rotations… they know which crop can be
rotated with what, when you grow some type of the crop, how many years
after that (does) the gap have to be taken, how many fallows have to be put
when you grow certain things to attain highest possible production and not
overexploit the richness of the soils.
What we need to understand today as we look for more food production,
as we look for more increased ecosystem services, what are the
limitations of the soils? But also what are the opportunities… recognizing
that many soils could actually produce more; there are in fact many soils
that could be restored to support not only food production but also
biodiversity conservation and other ecosystem services.
View the 100 Voices video interviews – http://www.icrisat.org/icrisat-100voices-soils.htm
Dr Prem Sharma
Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United
Dr Jeffrey E Herrick
Soil Scientist, US
Dr Janila Pasupuleti
Senior Scientist, Groundnut
Dr Jana Kholova
Scientist - Cereals
Year of soils
2015 was the UN International Year of Soils which helped highlight why soils are important for both food security and
maintaining the earth’s ecosystem. In the latest series of 100 Voices videos, experts speak about the threats to soil
quality and how degraded soils can be nursed back to health to create and maintain sustainable soil and land
management systems in the semi-arid tropics.