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ICAR Approves Two More Varieties of Kota's Black Chickpeas

After extensive research of over 10 years, the Agriculture Research Station, Ummedganj, has developed two new varieties of black chickpeas with better yield and an early maturity period.

Ravisha Poddar
black chickpeas
Representational image. (Photo Courtesy: Unsplash)

In a significant development for agricultural innovation, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has given its nod to two new varieties of black chickpeas, known as 'Kota Desi Chana 2' and 'Kota Desi Chana 3'. These varieties have emerged from a decade-long research undertaken by the Agriculture Research Station, Ummedganj, a unit under Agriculture University, Kota.

The new varieties, RKGM 20-1 and RKGM 20-2, which were earlier reported to out-yield the best check variety by more than 5 percent in different trials in ICAR 2021-22 of yield data, are expected to revolutionize chickpea farming with their improved yield within similar maturity period of 126-132 days. They are particularly adapted to regions with good rainfall and irrigation, showing promise in enhancing the productivity of chickpea crops across various Indian states.

'Kota Desi Chana 2' is tailored for the climates of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, while 'Kota Desi Chana 3' is deemed suitable for Assam, Bihar, and Jharkhand. These varieties also boast high disease resistance and a higher yield ratio compared to existing crops.

The yield for 'Kota Desi Chana 2' stands at an impressive 20.72 quintals per hectare, surpassing the average yield of 16-17 quintals from the widely cultivated Pusa Chickpea 4005. This variety is characterized by medium-long, semi-erect plants producing light brown seeds with a protein content of 18.77 percent.

Meanwhile, 'Kota Desi Chana 3' is not far behind, with an average yield of 15.57 quintals per hectare. It thrives in the northeastern states such as Assam, Jharkhand, and Bihar. The crop's structure is optimal for mechanical harvesting, and it stands out with a protein content of 20.25 percent.

Following ICAR's approval, the initial display of these varieties is set to begin, aimed at generating seeds for distribution among farmers. This step is part of the 'programming of seeds', a method to enhance seed traits for specific agricultural conditions through genetic modification or traditional breeding.

With these advancements, the Agricultural Research Station, Ummedganj, fortifies its position at the forefront of agricultural research, contributing to the betterment of crop quality and the livelihood of farmers.

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