Smallholder farmers involvement in seed production of pigeonpea : An assessment in Odisha, India
Smallholder pigeonpea farmers in Odisha always rely on self-saved seeds of preferred landrace with long maturity period of 7 months and exploiting this for a period of 2-4 years or more. These model of seed system continuously resulted in low yield (250-500 kg/ha) due to seed deterioration. Seed production at farmers’ level with the provision of new package of technology such as providing farmers preferred high yielding disease resistant varieties and hybrids, on the ground training on improved crop management technologies, and integrated pest and disease management has contributed in increase in productivity (780 kg/ha), improving livelihood, and income of farmers in the .project sites (Rayagada, Kalahandi, and Nauparha). Institutionalizing the seed system model through the ‘one village one variety’ concept has brought about the production of 1610 tons of various certified seeds. The assessment also revealed that higher investment in seed production resulted in higher seed yield and income. Likewise, farmers seed growers with medium land classification showed the best B:C ratio with ? 3.38 per ? 1 invested. Moreover, it can be deduced from the B:C ratio of all land classification that seed production is economically viable for smallholder farmers to venture in improving their livelihoods. However, there are still limitations that need to be addressed to ensure the sustainability of the seed delivery system of the project. The most pressing constraint of pigeonpea production is the damage caused by pests and the lack of farm inputs; trainings/awareness meetings/exposures are required to educate farmers on new pigeonpea technologies; and the need to regulate prices of pigeonpea seeds is a major concern forsmallholderfarmers to obtain benefit from theirpigeonpea cultivation.
- ICRISAT