Hyderabad, Feb 5 (IANS) The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics(ICRISAT) said on Thursday it has helped develop first machine harvestable variety of chickpea in Andhra Pradesh.
The global organisation, headquartered in Patancheru near here, said chickpea variety, NBeG 47, is suitable for the Andhra Pradesh’s variable climate.
The breeding of this taller chickpea variety means that as many as 2.25 tons of chickpea can be harvested in just 75 minutes. Done manually, the process including cutting and threshing would normally take three days.
This development was demonstrated recently in a farmer’s fields in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district showing how farmers can save time and money, said a statement by ICRISAT.
The chickpea variety was developed by Veera Jayalakshmi, principal scientist (chickpea breeding) at Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University in Nandyal, with support from ICRISAT, which provided the breeding material and technical support.
“Currently chickpea farming in Andhra Pradesh is partially mechanized – the crop is cut manually and then fed into a threshing machine. The total mechanization of harvesting is cost effective and quicker, reducing the risk of the ripened crop’s exposure to untimely rain or other extreme weather conditions,” said Pooran M. Gaur, principal scientist, Chickpea Breeding at ICRISAT.
Jayalakshmi said that machine harvesting is better for the health of the labourers, especially women, as handling the crop causes painful dermatitis due to its high acid content.