Last week I viewed the pre-breeding lines of chickpea, pigeon pea and groundnut at ICRISAT with senior scientist in genetic resources, Dr Shivali Sharma. The lines were produced by crossing some of the unique resources from ICRISAT’s genebank to build varieties resistant to the pests, diseases and environmental stresses that farmers’ face.
It was great to see what Shivali has been doing as I did similar research while developing insect resistant maize at CIMMYT some years ago. She showed me lines that are being especially selected and bred to resist:
- Late leaf spot in groundnut;
- Ascochyta blight and Botrytis grey mould in chickpea; and
- Pod borer in pigeon pea