Creating customized agronomic packages for groundnut farmers-ICRISAT
One size does not fit all, and a single seed may not meet the needs of all farmers. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) have started a project to find out which groundnut variety is best for a certain location and to create a customized agronomical package.
The genotypes that perform well would be tested and identified at these demonstration sites. Following the trials, the institute would provide farmers with appropriate seeds.
The trials are being conducted in response to the State Government’s decision to expand groundnut production. The oilseed crop is grown on around 0.30 million hectares in the state.
The worldwide market is slowing down, both at the buyer and seller levels, as a result of many crises such as the Ukraine War and the Iran crisis.
Sujatha, who is the Principal Scientist (Oilseeds) at the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS) in Palem (in the district of Nagarkurnool), says that getting good seeds is the biggest problem for farmers.
An acre requires approximately 80–100 kilos of ground seed.
‘Another issue that has to be addressed is the availability of poor quality and mixed kinds of groundnut seed.’ ‘We are collaborating with ICRISAT to guarantee that new varieties are available to farmers as quickly as possible,’ she said.
The two institutes would collaborate with seed-producing farms to make excellent seeds available. To start, the two institutions at RARS (Palem) set up a program to build farmers’ skills and teach them how to make good seeds.
They delivered leaflets in Telugu to farmers, shedding information on appropriate agricultural techniques for groundnuts.
The Director General of ICRISAT Jacqueline Hughes thinks that groundnut farming needs to be improved all over the state to help farmers make more money.
‘We will contribute to the development of inclusive and sustainable seed systems and value chains in order to supply high-quality seeds at lower rates,’ she stated.
Production of seeds
Early this year, the ICRISAT, in collaboration with the Directorate of Groundnut Research, began production of the country’s first high oleic acid groundnut cultivars, ‘Girnar 4,’ on four acres of land at RARS-Palem.
‘Plans are in the works to work with seed corporations, farmer seed entrepreneurs, and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to assure availability to high-quality Girnar 4 and 5 seeds,’ an ICRISAT executive said.
‘ICRISAT’s breeder seed production will boost foundation and certified seed production by several entities,’ he stated.
‘We will develop customized agronomic packages for ICRISAT-developed groundnut varieties Girnar 4 and Girnar 5 and promote them in southern Telangana,’ said M Goverdhan, Associate Director of Research, Southern Telangana Zone, RARS-Palem.