Maruti - the pigeonpea saviour

A direct release from the ICRISAT genebank helped revitalize the pigeonpea industry in Karnataka, India. ICP 8863, a pigeonpea accession in the ICRISAT genebank, was released as Maruti in 1986 at a time when the pigeonpea industry in parts of India was being hit hard by Fusarium wilt. Within a few seasons, Maruti helped the pigeonpea industry re-cooperate from the wilt losses. Today, 30 years after its release, Maruti is still being planted and is still a preferred variety in areas at risk of wilt. The Genebank Platform’s Communication Specialist Michael Major joins ICRISAT’s Head of Genebank Dr. Hari Upadhyaya on a journey to Gulbarga to view the long-term impact of a direct release from the genebank.


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