Search

All India Coordinated Research Network on Potential Crops

Network Coordinator : Dr B.S. Phogat
Contact Number: 011-25841835, Mobile : 9968592706
Address: ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources Pusa Campus, New Delhi – 110012, INDIA
Googla Map

 

Mandate

 

  1. To find out new plant resources for food, fodder, fuel, energy and industrial uses.
  2. To identify/develop superior genotypes for different agro-climatic regions.
  3. To standardize the package of practices for cultivation of these crops.
     

 

Organizational Setup

Coordinating Unit: NBPGR, New Delhi  

Main Centres

Cooperating Centres

Voluntary centres

1. CSK HPKV, Palampur

1.  NBPGR RS, Bhowali

1. NBRI, Lucknow

2. CHF, UUHF, Ranichauri

2.  NBPGR RS, Jodhpur

2. ICAR, NEH, Shillong

2. PAU, Ludhiana

3.  NBPGR RS, Akola

3. VPKAS, Almora

4. CCS HAU, Hisar

4.  NBPGR RS, Shillong

4. CSK HPKV, Sangla

5. SKRAU, Mandor

5.  NBPGR RS, Shimla

5. UBKV, Coochbehar

6. NDUA&T, Faizabad

   

7. BAU, Ranchi

   

8. SDAU, S.K. Nagar

   

9. MPKV, Rahuri

   

10. IGKV, Ambikapur

   

11. OUA&T, Bhubaneswar

   

12. UAS, Bangalore

   

13. TNAU, Mettupalayam

   

 

Mandate Crops

FOOD CROPS

      A.        PSEUDOCEREALS
                        Grain amaranth (Amaranthus spp.)
                        Buckwheat (Fagopyrum spp.
                        Chenopodium (Chenopodium spp.)
                        Job’s tear (Coix lacryma-jobi)

      B.        FOOD LEGUMES/ PULSES
                        Rice bean (Vigna umbellata)
                        Adzuki bean (Vigna angularis)
                        Faba bean (Vicia faba)
                        Winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus)

      C.        OILSEEDS
                        Perilla (Perilla frutescens)
                        Paradise tree (Simarouba glauca)

       D.        VEGETABLES
                        Kankoda (Momordica dioica)
                        Winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus)

FODDER CROPS
            Amaranth (Amaranthus spp.)
            Salt bush (Atriplex spp.)
            Fodder tree species

ENERGY, HYDROCARBON AND INDUSTRIAL PLANTS
            Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
            Guayule (Parthenium argentatum)
            Jatropha (Jatropha curcas)
            Tumba (Citrullus colocynthis)
            Paradise Tree (Siimarouba glauca)
            Perilla (Perilla frutescens)

            The AICRN-UUCs centres are funded both by the ICAR and respective state Agricultural Universities in the ratio of 75% and 25%, respectively. The funds are released to the centres from the nodal institution NBPGR and closely monitored by the Director as well as the Nodal Officer.

Financial Outlay (Rs. in Lakh)

 

VI Plan

VII Plan

VIII Plan

IX Plan

X Plan

XI Plan

Pay and Allowance

13.156

21.09

126.79

206.53

484.93

821.39

T.A.

1.76

1.36

8.25

10.50

23.98

32.80

Contingency

4.30

5.52

29.10

29.40

110.58

154.15

Non-recurring contingency

2.63

2.37

20.65

7.42

21.50

32.78

Total

21.85

30.34

184.79

341.07

640.99

1041.12

ICAR Share

19.41

23.00

150.44

280.51

492.01

795.00

Universities Share

2.44

7.34

34.35

60.56

148.98

246.12

 

Functions

The major activities of the project include:

  1. Introduction of new potential and useful plant species from different places and evaluating and testing them for acclimatization to local conditions.
  2. To collect, evaluate and conserve the germplasm of existing regional crops of importance through the cooperation of NBPGR Regional Stations.
  3. To breed new varieties through appropriate crop improvement research and standardize their production and protection technology through coordinated efforts.
  4. Popularization of such Underutilized crops in newer areas, besides taking up transfer of technology related activities through frontline and on-farm demonstrations. Every available mode is made use of including Television, Radio, Newspapers, etc. in popularizing these crops using their unique nutritional and special attributes as incentives.

Priorities and new thrust areas

Collection/introduction, characterization, evaluation, documentation, maintenance and storage of germplasm in important underutilized crops from unexplored areas.

  1. Registration of donor/unique germplasm lines of underutilized crops.
  2. Developing high yielding varieties in selected underutilized crops of economic value.
  3. Evolving package of cultivation practices for specific cropping systems.
  4. Popularization of economically important species and new high yielding varieties through appropriate adaptive trials, frontline demonstration and extension efforts.
  5. Initiating research work on new plant species suitable for adverse soil conditions such as marginal lands, marshy and water logged soils, salt affected lands and other categories of waste lands.
  6. Value addition to the underutilized crops.
  7. Developing data base on local value, uses and agronomic niches of underutilized crops

Salient achievements (2008-2012)

AICRN-UU has a network of 13 centres located in different states having major area under UU crops and many centres have been in existence since the inception of the project in 1982. The major thrust of research has been to address the local needs of region specific UU crops. In addition significant efforts are also made for introducing and acclimatizing new UU crops. The project has made significant achievements in the area of mandatory research during the period under review and significant findings/ technologies developed are concisely given below.

  1.  Trials/ Experiments Conducted

Multilocation trials/ Experiments conducted

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

Breeding

63

50

48

49

57

Germplasm

38

50

55

54

53

Agronomy

19

21

15

19

41

Quality evaluation

7

15

15

18

12

Varieties released

2

-

1

-

1 (Id.)

Germplasm evaluated (Acc.)

800

1402

1741

1038

770

Crosses attempted to generate variability

85

95

95

105

125

 

  1. Germplasm Collection, Evaluation and Conservation: In all, 5751 accessions have been evaluated in different crops at multi-locations in plains and hills during 2008-12. More than 650 collections have been made through multi-crop explorations during XI Plan by NBPGR Regional Stations in collaboration with AICRN centres. The new germplasm accessions have been added to National Gene Bank for long term conservation.

  2.  Varieties Released : Four improved varieties have been released/ identified at national/ regional level in different Underutilized crops by Central Variety Release Committee based on their performance at multi-locations in various coordinated trials in below table.

Crop

Varieties

Year of identification/  release

Economic product

Average yield  (q/ha)

Characteristics

Recommended    areas

GRAIN AMARANTH

1

SKNA 21

(GA-3)

2008

Grain

12.58

High grain yield

 

States of Gujarat and Jharkhand

2

RMA- 4

2008

Grain

13.90

High grain yield

States of Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Orissa

3

RMA-7

2010

Grain

14.66

High grain yield

Rajasthan, Gujarat, Orissa, Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi states

RICE BEAN

1.

VRB-3

2012

Grain

17.08

High grain yield

North-West and North-East Hill Regions of India

 

  1. Breeding Programme: Significant efforts have been made in breeding grain amaranth at Ranichauri, Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar and S.K. Nagar, and in rice bean at Ludhiana, Ranichauri and Bangalore. Hissar centre provided lead in Faba bean breeding. Kankoda in Rahuri and Tumba in Mandor are the mandated crops for taking up breeding work. Forty six inter-species crosses involving tumba, water melon, matira and kalingada have been attempted.
     
  2. Standardization of Cultivation Packages : Agronomic trials on major Underutilized crops viz. grain amaranth and rice bean have resulted in accumulation of substantial data resulting in recommendations on dates of sowing, spacing, fertilizer applications including organic manures and weed control, water management, intercropping etc. Agronomical aspects have also been worked out in vegetable crop Kankoda, industrial plant Jatropha and tree species Simarouba.
  • Integrated nutrient management studies revealed that the highest grain yield of amaranth was obtained when 75% of recommended N was applied through chemical fertilizer and 25% N was applied through FYM + 40 kg P2O5/ha both at Bangalore and S.K. Nagar.  At S.K. Nagar application of castor cake instead of FYM also resulted in equally high amaranth grain yield.
  • Loss in grain yield due to delayed sowing could be partly compensated by adopting narrower row spacing (30X10 cm) and application of higher dose of fertilizer (125% RDF) at S.K. Nagar.
     
  • Amongst the organic manurial treatments, application of FYM @8.0 t/ha resulted in highest grain yield of amaranth at Bhubaneswar where as highest amaranth yield was obtained by application of vermi compost @2.5 t/ha + Chullu cake @2.5 t/ha at Ranichauri.
     
  • In rice bean, addition of Rhizobium culture and/or PSB to RDF resulted in yield increase over RDF alone at Bhubaneswar and Bangalore.
     
  • Application of 50% RDF + PSB + Rhizobium yielded as much rice bean as that obtained by applying RDF at Bhubaneswar and Bangalore.
     
  • At S.K. Nagar, intercropping amaranth with gram (1:1) resulted in highest amaranth equivalent yield, and LER.
     
  • Intercropping amaranth with ragi (2:8) and amaranth + groundnut (2:4) were found to result in more efficient land use (LER) at Bangalore.
     
  • Intercrop of amaranth + sesame (2:4) was observed to give highest values of LER at Mettupalayam.
     
  • Intercropping rice bean and amaranth in 2:2 row ratios resulted in highest value of LER at Ranichauri.
     
  • Intercropping rice bean with maize (2:4) and pigeonpea (2:4) resulted in highest values of LER and rice bean equivalent yield at Bhubaneswar.
     
  • At Bhubaneswar, grain amaranth gave the highest yield in rice fallows while wheat followed by Lathyrus gave highest seed yield at Cooch Behar.
  1. Basic Studies : Studies related to floral biology, pollination behavior, micro-propagation of male and female trees and sex-specificity using molecular markers in paradise tree were conducted at Mettupalayam.  Among the two explants tried for shoot induction, shoot tip derived from mature trees showed the maximum morphogenic response of 28.36 per cent. A technique of cleft grafting from tender coppice shoots of male and female trees on epicotyl portion of the 15 days old seedlings has recorded 83 % success in production of male and female plants. There was no report of self-incompatibility in bisexual flowers on andromonoecious plants. 
     
  2. Quality Analysis : Chemical analysis for quality traits and some anti-nutritional factors, was carried out for the germplasm and genotypes entered in coordinated trials of different crops. The genotypes superior in quality parameters were identified for their use in breeding programme.
     
  3. Technology Transfer : The progress in generation of technology as regards improved varieties and production packages especially for pseudocereals, legumes, Jatropha and Simarouba is quite satisfactory. The comprehensive package of recommendations developed in the project based on 3-4 years of research and having utility for large scale field adoption are being taken to farmer fields. The project using its own resources is making sincere efforts to demonstrate the improved production technology on farmer fields and Front Line Demonstrations (FLDs) in amaranth, rice bean, Faba bean and adzuki bean are regularly organized. So far, a total of 244 demonstrations were organized in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Chhattisgarh.
     
  4. Seed Production : The seed related activities were carried out in the project in many crops and 8327.00 kg seeds were produced in various crops at different centres for distribution to farmers and other agencies.

    Efforts have been made in the project for the supply of a large number of Simarouba seedlings at Mettupalayam (Tamil Nadu), Bhubaneswar, Bangalore and S.K. Nagar. Similarly, in Jatropha large amount of seed material has been made available to farmers and other agencies at S.K. Nagar and Mettupalayam.

Awards/Rewards/Recognition

H.L. Raiger received First prize for best contribution in scientific articles on underutilized crops in Hindi (NBPGR Hindi Unit).