New lentil varieties in India

March 15, 2011 at 11:07 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lentil variety NDL-1, with proper management, yields more than 1.5 t/ha on farmers’ fields – double the national average

National R&D organizations centers in India have launched a major effort to boost lentil production. ICARDA is contributing to this effort through a collaborative project funded by the National Food Security Mission. The India-ICARDA program organized three training events in February, bringing farmers and scientists together to share experiences. A train-the trainers program was held on 27-28 February at the Indian Institute of Pulses Research, Kanpur, for extension staff and field researchers. The training covered various areas: improved varieties, crop management, seed production, cultivation of lentil in post-rice fallows, and conservation agriculture. Two other programs, organized jointly with Rajendra Agricultural University, Pusa, brought together 35 ‘lead’ farmers from four states. A training course (2-3 March) was followed by a travelling workshop (4-10 March), where the farmers visited research sites – and neighboring farms – in different districts.

Several ICARDA staff served as resource persons: Dr Ashutosh Sarker, Coordinator, South Asia and China Regional Program; Dr Shiv Kumar Agrawal, lentil breeder; Dr Seid Kemal, legume pathologist; and Dr Ravi Gopal Singh, cropping systems agronomist.

These programs provided first-hand evidence of the field performance of new lentil varieties. Farmers were particularly happy with two high-yielding varieties, NDL-1 (developed by Indian scientists from ICARDA parent material) and HUL-57. “These new varieties are highly profitable,” said one farmer. “Many of us plan to expand our lentil fields next season.”

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