Seeding entrepreneurship in groundnut farmers of south India

ICRISAT and PJTSAU partner to set up Seed Business Ventures in Telangana

Groundnut cultivation in Telangana, India, could soon make gigantic leaps of improvement as a recently-launched entrepreneurship initiative is set to amplify the reach of enhanced seed varieties.

“In Telangana, more than 85% of the total groundnut cultivation is the in post-rainy season when seed demand is high and the formal seed system is unable to the supply desired quantity. Farmers are forced to source seeds from neighboring states,” Dr MV Nagesh Kumar, Professor, Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU), said. He pointed out that the seed production during rainy season is crucial to meet seed demand in a regular season in the state.

Groundnut farmers fail to adopt new crop varieties owing to seed non unavailability, high seed rate, low seed multiplication ratio and inefficient storage reducing seed viability. To strengthen groundnut seed system, ICRISAT and PJTSAU began establishing Seed Business Ventures (SBV) by identifying farmers who can be seed entrepreneurs.

To help farmers transition to entrepreneurship, training programs are being conducted in quality groundnut seed production and marketing to achieve increased productivity and profitability from cultivation. New varieties like GJG 32 (ICGV 03043), a high-yielding and farmer preferred variety, are being introduced.

During a workshop conducted at ICRISAT in April, about 20 groundnut farmers from Gadwal and Nagarkurnool districts of Telangana participated. Based on knowledge and skills, resource availability and interest in seed production, farmers were selected for entrepreneurship.

Ten farmers were then selected for training by ICRISAT in groundnut seed business, making business plans and good management practices for quality seed production. The training program also trained farmers in post-harvest management.

“As a result of the trainings, we expect the improved seed varieties to cover 100 hectares after the first round itself,” said Dr P Janila, ICRISAT’s Principal Groundnut Breeder.

Ms K Pramila, a participant in the program who owns 0.40 ha land in Shampalle village where she adopted groundnut farming, said, “I was not aware of the latest techniques in groundnut production before attending the training program. I can now produce seeds of high quality and sell then to other farmers, besides retairing some for my farm.”

Project: Enhancing groundnut productivity and profitability for smallholder farmers in Asia through varietal technologies.

Donor: OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), CRP- GLDC.

Partners: Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Sri Lanka.

CRP: Grain Legumes and Drylands Cereals (GLDC)

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