Enhancement of pigeonpea productivity through adoption of drought mitigating strategies

Nagesh Kumar, M V and Venkata Ramana, M and Ramya, V and Vishnu Vardhan Reddy, D and Srinivas, A and Sameer Kumar, C V and Ranga Rao, G V (2017) Enhancement of pigeonpea productivity through adoption of drought mitigating strategies. In: InterDrought-V, February 21-25, 2017, Hyderabad, India.

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Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh) is an important drought tolerant legume crop in Indian rainfed agriculture. Though India accounts for nearly 90% of the world’s pigeonpea acreage (3.73 million ha) and production (3.07 million t), the productivity is lower at 707 kg/ha than the world average. The Morocco India Food Legumes Initiative in collaboration with the ICRISAT is aimed at improving the livelihood of small farmers to strengthen food and nutritional security through adoption of improved technologies. This paper is focused on developing and disseminating strategies to improve pigeonpea productivity in dryland regions which are characterized by erratic rainfall, frequent and prolonged dry spells and soil nutrient depletion. During 2013-16, demonstrations were conducted in 1200 farmers’ fields in Mahabubnagar district, Telangana, India, with an objective of enhancing the productivity of pigeonpea using three drought mitigating strategies: (i) adoption of short-duration cultivar PRG 176, a high-yielding and early-maturing pedigree selection of ICPL 88034 x ICPL 88039 with a duration of 130-135 days; (ii) foliar application of soluble fertilizer to maintain vegetative growth and ultimately improve pod filling; (iii) life saving irrigation at the rate of 20 mm with water harvested from farm ponds during mid season drought and prolonged dry spells. Adoption of PRG 176 resulted in an average yield of 1400 kg/ha compared to LRG 41 (1120 kg/ha). The yield improvement of 25% can largely be attributed to the good branching habit (8- 13 primary branches) and high flower to pod conversion ratio of PRG 176 under dryland conditions. Foliar application of multi-K during flowering and pod formation stages enhanced the yield to 1360 kg/ha compared to the yield of 1100 kg/ha obtained in fields without foliar spray. Life saving irrigation in PRG 176 during mid season dry spell which persisted for 17-21 days improved the yields by 20 % compared to the yield of 1200 kg/ha obtained in rainfed crop. In conclusion, the study demonstrated that the productivity of pigeonpea in dryland regions can be enhanced to an average 1560 kg/ha through an integrated drought mitigating approach by exploiting the short-duration and high-yielding potential of PRG 176, providing life saving irrigation during critical growth stages and foliar application of nutrients at flowering and pod formation stages.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: Research Program : Asia
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pigeonpea productivity, drought mitigating strategies, irrigation
Subjects: Mandate crops > Pigeonpea
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2018 06:21
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2018 06:21
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/10717
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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