Breeding pigeonpea cultivars for intercropping: synthesis and strategies

Saxena, K B and Choudhary, A K and Saxena, R K and Varshney, R K (2018) Breeding pigeonpea cultivars for intercropping: synthesis and strategies. Breeding Science (TSI), 68 (2). pp. 159-167. ISSN 1344-7610

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Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] is an ideal pulse crop of rainfed tropics and sub-tropics due to its high nutritive value and ability to survive various biotic and abiotic stresses. Thus it has continued to be cultivated on marginal land mostly under rainfed situation where the risk of crop failure is very high. To have insurance against crop failures and harvest more food in time and space, most farmers grow pigeonpea as an intercrop with short-aged cereals and other crops. Presently, intercropping system accounts for over 70% of the pigeonpea area. However, yield of pigeonpea in this system is very low (400–500 kg/ha). The non-availability of improved cultivars adapted specifically to the intercropping environments is perhaps the major constraint that accounts for low yield. Considering the food and nutritional needs of the ever increasing population, productivity enhancement of this high-protein pulse is highly indispensable. In this review, the authors critically examine the technical difficulties encountered by breeders in developing high yielding cultivars for intercropping systems and discuss the strategies to overcome these constraints.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Genetic Gains
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Breeding cultivars, pigeonpea, intercrop, productivity enhancement, hybrid
Subjects: Others > Intercropping
Others > Plant Breeding
Mandate crops > Pigeonpea
Others > Genetics and Genomics
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2018 02:59
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2018 06:16
Official URL:
Funders: CGIAR’s Generation Challenge Programme, (BMGF), (USAID), (BIPP), (ICAR), and Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India.
Acknowledgement: Authors would like to acknowledge Dr. SN Nigam and Dr. MR Rao, Former ICRISAT Principal Scientists, for their valuable suggestions in the improvement of this manuscript. Authors are also thankful to several partner institutions and researchers who have contributed to pigeonpea research. For the funding, authors would like to thank CGIAR’s Generation Challenge Programme, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Biotechnology Industry Partnership Programme (BIPP), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), and Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India. The work reported in this article was undertaken as a part of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes. ICRISAT is a member of the CGIAR.
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