Striding towards streamlined crop improvement programs
To better accomplish its mission by providing improved crop varieties to smallholder farmers, ICRISAT is overhauling its breeding program with regional crop improvement hubs, improved inventory processes, new facilities and capacity building to make them more rapid, efficient and productive.
Crop breeding remains a key means of providing improved crop varieties to farmers across the world for better food and nutrition security. Especially, smallholder farmers in the drylands face unprecedented challenges today – increasing temperatures, decreasing yields, pest and disease outbreaks, unpredictable weather and so on. In this scenario, crop improvement programs serving smallholders in vulnerable regions need to improve the rate of genetic gain for staple crops in those regions.
At ICRISAT, crop scientists have always strived towards delivering higher genetic gains from the institute’s mandate crops – sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet, groundnut, chickpea and pigeonpea – through traditional breeding methods as well as by using modern technologies to achieve faster genetic gains.