New groundnut varieties to boost farmers’ incomes in Telangana

New groundnut varieties to boost farmers’ incomes in Telangana

In order to boost valuable groundnut production across Telengana, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) have joined forces to conduct 80 demonstration trials of new groundnut varieties across the state. The initiative funded by the Government of Telangana aims to expand groundnut production which is presently only cultivated on 0.3 million hectares of land in Telangana.

Highlighting the project, Dr Jacqueline Hughes, Director General, ICRISAT said she was delighted with the collaboration with the Government of Telangana and PJTSAU, which would likely see much-needed improvements to groundnut cultivation across the state, leading to improved farmer incomes.

“We look forward to drawing upon the Institute’s experience and expertise in developing inclusive and sustainable seed systems and value chains to deliver to farmers across Telangana, high quality, accessible, and lower cost seed,” she added.

Deputy Director General – Research at ICRISAT, Dr Arvind Kumar congratulated all parties for the initiative aimed at not only boosting incomes but incentivising new farmers to enter into groundnut production.

Inaugural Capacity Building Program

About 300 farmers attended the inaugural capacity building programme to accelerate the adoption of the new groundnut varieties held at the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS) in Palem, Nagarkurnool district, Telengana.

ICRISAT Accelerated Crop Improvement Research Program Director, Dr Sean Mayes applauded participants for their involvement in the trials and said ICRISAT was pleased to be promoting another initiative to improve farmer incomes.

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“We are pleased to partner with farmers and regional agricultural centres in Telangana to work together to enhance farmer profitability and importantly, learn from each other during this project,” said Dr Mayes.

During the capacity-building programme, participants were exposed to quality seed production techniques and potential innovations to promote groundnut production and value chains.

Leaflets in the local language detailing good agricultural practices in groundnut were distributed to farmers at the event for ongoing reference material.

Speaking at the training, Dr Sujatha, Principal Scientist (Oilseeds), Regional Agricultural Research Station, Palem said that access to new seed varieties for groundnut production remained a challenge, considering a farmer needs close to 100 kg of seed per acre of land.

“The availability of poor quality and mixed varieties of groundnut seed is also a concern that needs to be addressed and we are working with ICRISAT to ensure that new varieties will soon be available to farmers,” added Dr M Sujatha.

Dr Janila Pasupuleti, Cluster Leader-Crop Breeding, Accelerated Crop Improvement, ICRISAT, added that the inability of farmers to adopt new seed varieties is partly due to their non-availability and fear of drawing lower profits.

She emphasised that farmer adoption of new groundnut varieties such as high oleic acid varieties would help them achieve higher yields, profit and potential new export opportunities while promoting best agricultural practices.

The project

Groundnut Value Chain Innovations to Enhance Farmer Profitability and Promote Oil, Food and Confectionery Industries in Telangana is funded by the Government of Telangana and led by PJTSAU in collaboration with ICRISAT.

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PJTSAU, with support from ICRISAT, is conducting location-specific research, identification of genotypes, and multi-location trials of varieties developed by ICRISAT to deliver suitable varieties to Telangana and improve groundnut seed systems in the state.

Seed production of India’s first high oleic acid groundnut varieties ‘Girnar 4’ developed by ICRISAT in partnership with the ICARDirectorate of Groundnut Research (ICAR-DGR), was undertaken on four acres of land at RARS-Palem during this year’s rainy season.

Future plans

There are plans to engage with seed corporations, farmer seed entrepreneurs and farmer producer organisations (FPOs) to ensure access to quality Girnar 4 and 5 seeds.

The breeder seed production undertaken at ICRISAT will support the foundation and certified seed production by different agencies. “We will develop tailored agronomic packages for ICRISAT-developed groundnut varieties – Girnar 4 and Girnar 5 and promote the varieties in southern Telangana,” said Dr M Goverdhan, Associate Director of Research, Southern Telangana Zone, RARS-Palem.

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