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Sustaining by diversifying. Legume-based technologies for Rice-Wheat production systems in Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP). Suresh Pande Regional Project Coordinator Crop Diversification Project: ICRISAT. The Issue and RWC. Continuous cereals cultivation apparently associated with:

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sustaining by diversifying
Sustaining by diversifying

Legume-based technologies for Rice-Wheat production systems in Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP)

Suresh Pande

Regional Project Coordinator

Crop Diversification Project: ICRISAT

the issue and rwc
The Issue and RWC

Continuous cereals cultivation apparently associated with:

  • Yield stagnation
  • Nutrient and water imbalance
  • Increased pest and disease incidence
rationale of icrisat s involvement
Rationale of ICRISAT’s Involvement
  • Inclusion of legumes make the cereal-dominated system more sustainable
  • Legumes enhance soil fertility
  • Can break insect-pest and disease cycles in cereals
  • Can diversify farm income
  • Add protein to complement cereals
  • Quarter-century expertise relating to important legumes: chickpea, pigeonpea and legumes.
legume based technologies for rice and wheat production systems
Legume-based technologies for Rice and Wheat Production Systems


  • Quantify the scope of legumes in RWCS
  • Develop technological options for overcoming major biotic and abiotic constraints
  • Evaluate improved technologies in farmers’ fields
  • Assess adoption and quantify the impact
successful technologies
Successful Technologies
  • System characterization
  • Integrated soil, water and nutrient management (ISWNM)
  • Integrated pest, disease and nematode management (IPM)
  • Sustainable land-use systems
system characterization
System Characterization
  • GIS analysis of cropping systems
  • Legumes in rice and wheat cropping systems of the IGP: constraints and opportunities.
  • GIS application in cropping system analysis – case studies in Asia.
soil and water management
Soil and Water Management
  • Using GIS with WATBAL:

Soil water availability and length of growing season for IGP of India, Nepal and Bangladesh were mapped

nutrient management
Nutrient Management

Following a nutrient model (NUTMOD), rationalize fertilizer use was established on cropping systems:

  • Bangladesh – rice-chickpea
  • India – mungbean-rice-wheat and pigeonpea-wheat
  • Nepal – mungbean-rice-wheat
  • Pakistan – mungbean-wheat
chickpea flower drop
Chickpea flower drop



doubling yield with boron
Doubling yield with Boron
  • Boron deficiency a major yield constraint to chickpea and lentil in parts of IGP
  • One kg B per ha increased grain yield in chickpea by 42% to 92%
  • Technology is now ready for large scale application.
integrated pest management helicoverpa pod borer
Integrated Pest ManagementHelicoverpa pod borer
  • Sowing in May of the extra-short duration genotype, ICPL 88039 – developed by ICRISAT and its partners – which generally escapes Helicoverpa damage
  • Judicious insecticide application
why pigeonpea for rws sustainability
Why pigeonpea for RWS sustainability?
  • Known to improve soil fertility
  • Grows largely rainfed.
  • Fixes its own nitrogen
  • Contributes organic matter in the form of senesced leaves, root residue, and releases P from fixed forms.
  • Its area is declining in the IGP because:

-Low yield vis-à-vis rice

-Greater risks

-Longer duration of cultivars available with farmers

esd pigeonpea wheat rotation
ESD Pigeonpea - wheat rotation

Extra-short-duration (ESD) genotypes have been developed that allow:

  • pigeonpea-wheat rotation.
  • ESD pigeonpea yield 3 t ha-1
  • Up to about 1 t ha-1 extra yield of wheat could be harvested when it followed ESD pigeonpea
esd pigeonpea for cultivation in rotation with wheat
ESD pigeonpea for cultivation in rotation with wheat

ICPL 88039 for cultivation in rotation with wheat

ipm of legumes chickpea
IPM of Legumes (Chickpea)
  • The five Bs:
  • Boron deficiency
  • Botrytis gray mold (BGM)
  • Bhilt (Wilt)
  • Borer (Pod borer)
  • Bruchids (storage pests)
  • Blue Bull
components of ipm of legumes chickpea
Components of IPM of legumes (Chickpea)
  • HPR : BGM tolerant variety (Avarodhi)
  • Agronomical: Improved cultural practices
  • Fungicides: Weather/Need-based application
  • Insecticides: Need-based application

IPM – A Success Story:Rehabilitation of chickpea in Nepal and Bangladesh

sustainable land use system the barind success story
Sustainable Land Use SystemThe Barind Success Story
  • Chickpea identified as a second crop on residual moisture
  • Low labour, low input technology
  • Farmers are now getting second crop where there was only one
  • Technique extended to Nepal
sustainable land use system seed priming
Sustainable Land Use SystemSeed Priming

In Barind, Bangladesh

  • Plant stand improved by 22%
  • Grain yield by 47%
  • Stover yield by 31%
sustainable land use system residual effect
Sustainable Land Use SystemResidual Effect

Long-term experiments conducted with PAU showed:

  • High nitrogen fixing chickpea line out-yielded its normal nodulating parent
  • A book on residual effects of legumes in rice-wheat cropping system of the IGP published.
sustainable land use system rice straw compost
Sustainable Land Use SystemRice Straw Compost
  • Application of 2 t/ha compost prepared from rice-straw (normally burnt by farmers) along with the recommended levels of fertilizers produced 4-9% greater yield of rice + wheat
  • Technology is ready for up-scaling
new emerging researchable issues if any
New Emerging Researchable Issues if any?
  • Carry over of pests in system perspective
  • Define sustainability indicators of RWC
  • Scale-up of IPM in legumes in IGP
  • Scale-up of seed priming technology
  • Modelling to identify new cropping systems
  • In situ decomposition of crop residue
  • Greater inclusion of legumes into RWCS of IGP, the crop diversification project efficiently links ICRISAT to RWC and partners
  • The project is pumping new life into the cereal-based systems and bring new hope to the people of IGP.