Regional opportunities for warm season grain legumes in the Indo-Gangetic Plain

Johansen, C and Ali, M and Gowda, C L L and Ramakrishna, A and Nigam, S N and Chauhan, Y S (2000) Regional opportunities for warm season grain legumes in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. In: Legumes in rice and wheat cropping systems of the indo-gangetic plain - constraints and opportunities. ICRISAT, Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, India, pp. 185-199. ISBN 92-9066-418-5

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The major warm season grain legume crops grown in the region of the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) are pigeonpea, mung bean, block gram, cowpea, groundnut, and soybean, There has been a general decline in their area and production in the region over recent decades, coinciding with intensification of cereal-dominated cropping systems such as the rice-wheat rotation. Various abiotic, biotic, and socioeconomic constraints can explain the poor performance of these legumes, relative to that of cereals and cash crops. Further, there is little government price and policy support for grain legumes, compared with the major cereals. These legumes generally remain as subsistence crops, with a consequent reluctance of farmers to invest in key inputs that could raise and stabilize yields to economically competitive levels. Nevertheless, there is evidence that the regional demand for the products (e.g., grain, vegetable oil, and fuelwood) of these legumes remains or is increasing. Further, in view of increasing questions about the long-term sustainability of cereal-based monocropping, there is a rationale for substantially increasing the proportion of legumes in cropping systems of the IGP. There is thus a case for stimulating their production in the region. There are several niches in the IGP where legume cultivation can be substantially increased, particularly to take advantage of recent improvements in genotype and agronomic practices. There are also several recent location-specific examples, inside and outside of the region, of dramatic improvements in production of grain legumes (e.g., mung bean in Pakistan); it is worthwhile analyzing the reasons for success with a view to emulating the success in specific niches of the IGP. Invariably, the way forward for each of these crops is to move towards commercialization of their production, initiated by appropriate policy incentives. It is concluded that there can be substantial increases in production of these legumes in the IGP without undue competition with rice or wheat. On the contrary, greater use of legumes in rice- and wheatbased cropping systems should ultimately improve total system productivity and sustainability.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Mandate crops > Chickpea
Mandate crops > Pigeonpea
Mandate crops > Groundnut
Depositing User: Ms K Syamalamba
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2011 05:34
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2012 08:16
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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