First public research facility to put agriculture on fast-forward launched at ICRISAT
Efforts to modernize crop breeding took a giant leap today with the unveiling of ICRISAT’s new facility, which is projected to significantly lower time and cost of crop varietal development. The state-of-the-art facility is a first for any public sector agricultural research institution.
Called RapidGen, a moniker for Rapid Generation Advancement, the facility will accelerate plant lifecycle in light-, temperature- and humidity-controlled conditions. Presently, breeding a new crop variety takes about a decade or more, with six or seven years spent in seasonal generational advancements to arrive at the elite lines that go for testing and release as varieties. RapidGen will shorten the six-seven year window significantly. When used with the full suite of breeding acceleration techniques, RapidGen can reduce the breeding cycle by an estimated 40% for most crops.