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Setting priorities for research in hybrid pearl millet, sorghum and pigeonpea in India
Over 70 participants from 40 public and private sector institutions recently discussed and selected the highest research priorities to develop hybrid parents and hybrids of sorghum, pearl millet and pigeonpea

The following are the some of the key takeaways and recommendations distilled from their discussions.

  • Greater attention required towards the A1 Zone (West Rajasthan, South Haryana and North Gujarat; <400 mm annual rainfall) comprising almost 50% of cultivated area for pearl millet in India to address both food and nutritional security. –Dr C Tara Satyavathi, Project Coordinator, AICRP-Pearl Millet
  • Different traits and preferences required in sorghum for diverse growing ecologies in rainy/post-rainy/rice-follows etc., with special emphasis on end-use specific breeding. –Dr C Aruna, Principal Sorghum Breeder, IIMR
  • 70% of millet area in India is now under hybrids. Also, the pigeonpea program must invest on high-density planting and farming systems for production to scale up. –Dr RS Mahala, Chairman of Advisory Committee-HPRC
  • Since success of pearl millet hybrid technology has not yet been demonstrated in Africa, it is a great opportunity for pearl millet breeders and seed –Dr Peter Carberry, Director General, ICRISAT
  • High demand for fodder requirement in India necessitates stronger collaborations between
    ICAR, ICRISAT and the seed industry to develop
    multi-cut sorghum and pearl millet cultivars. –Dr Vijay Kumar Yadav, Director, IGFRI
  • ICRISAT and NARS partners should focus on early to mid-early pigeonpea cultivars, with higher emphasis on C scarabaeoides-based cytoplasmic male sterility females. –Dr IP Singh, Project Coordinator, AICRP-Pigeonpea
  • Current trends and future needs in pearl millet, sorghum and pigeonpea three crops emphasizing the future focus for research – Dr C Aruna, Dr Pushkar Vaidya, Dr Satyavathi, Dr Virendra Singh Deora, Dr IP Singh and Dr Bijendra Pal.
  • Focus on addressing grain mold, shoot fly and Fall Armyworm challenges in sorghum
  • Improving blast resistance, lodging tolerance, and developing better breeding products for drought-prone environments in pearl millet
  • Hybrid development using stable sources of CMS and strengthening of seed production systems in pigeonpea.

The meeting was held on 23 January 2020 at ICRISAT, Hyderabad.

Projects: Pearl Millet Hybrid Parents Research Consortium (PMHPRC) – Phase V; Sorghum Hybrid Parents Research Consortium; PigeonPea Hybrid Parents Research Consortium

Funders/Partners: Ajeet Seeds Pvt. Ltd; Arya Hybrid Seeds Ltd; Adriana Agricola Ltd.; Bayer BioScience Pvt Ltd; Daftari Seeds (OPC) Pvt Ltd; Bisco Bio-Sciences Pvt Ltd; DCM Shriram Ltd – BioSeed Research; Eco Agri Seeds Private Limited; Ganga Kaveri Seeds Pvt Ltd; Hi-Yield Agri-Genetics Pvt Ltd; Hytech Seed India Private Limited; JK Agri Genetics Limited; Kamadgiri Seeds LLP; Kanchan Ganga Seed Co. Pvt. Ltd; Kaveri Seed Company Pvt Ltd; Kartik Bio Seed; Metahelix Life Sciences Limited; Nandi Seeds Pvt Ltd; Nath Biogenes (I) Ltd; Nu Genes Private Limited; Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd; Rasi Seeds (P) Ltd; Pioneer Hi-Bred Pvt Ltd.; SeedWorks International Pvt. Ltd.; Sungro Seeds Private Limited; Super Seeds (P) Ltd; UPL Limited (Advanta); Classic Hybrid Seeds Pvt Ltd; KD Seeds Pvt Ltd; UPL-Mexico; JK Agri Genetics Ltd

CGIAR Research Program: Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals

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