South and Southeast Asia account for about 84% of the global chickpea growing area. The crop is mainly rainfed and is grown in the post-rainy season when soil moisture is receding. It often experiences terminal drought and heat stress. Because of the risk of extreme drought and high temperatures during pod filling in the post-rainy season, the growing season is as short as 90–120 days in two thirds of chickpea growing areas. ICRISAT’s first extra-short duration Kabuli cultivar, ICCV 2, matures in only 85–90 days and demonstrates fusarium wilt resistance and heat tolerance. Subsequently, several early-maturing, high-yielding cultivars have been developed, including two new Kabuli types and four Desi types.
Relationship to CSA
Avoiding terminal drought and heat stress by growing shorter-term chickpea varieties provides a substantial contribution to short-term adaptation through climate risk management and avoidance. In addition, the resistance to Fusarium Wilt provides additional adaptation gains. Fusarium wilt infection is favoured by high temperatures and warm moist soils, conditions which climate change projections suggest are likely to become more prevalent in Southeast Asia.
Impacts and lessons learned
The adoption of early-maturing chickpea cultivars has brought about a chickpea revolution in the Andhra Pradesh State in India. Chickpea production increased nine-fold, from 95,000 to 884,000 tonnes between 2000–2009. This is a result of a five-fold increase in area (102,000 to 602,000 ha) combined with a 2.4-fold increase in yield levels (583 to 1,407 kg ha-1). Over 80% of the chickpea area in Andhra Pradesh is now cultivated using the improved short-duration cultivars which were developed by ICRISAT and the Indian national agricultural research system. Andhra Pradesh was once considered to be a low yielding state for chickpea because of its warm, short-season environment, but it now has the highest yield levels in India.
ICRISAT. 2012. The Jewels of ICRISAT. Telangana, India: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).http://www.icrisat.org/jewels/The-Jewels-of-ICRISAT.pdf
The book takes up an idea suggested by our Governing Board to highlight the ‘jewels’ of ICRISAT – the 16 breakthroughs and innovations described in this publication. These stories revolve around and cut across our four research programs: resilient dryland systems; markets, institutions and policies; grain legumes; and dryland cereals. This publication aims primarily to help the reader understand ICRISAT’s core science and our impact in overcoming the daunting challenges of the dryland tropics. Likewise it illustrates the ways in which science can be mobilized to help achieve six critical development outcomes needed to bring about inclusive marketoriented development: food sufficiency, intensification, diversification, resilience, health and nutrition, and the empowerment of women.