Integrated crop management of chickpea in Nepal past, present and future uri icon

abstract

  • Chickpea until recently was a major winter pulse crop in Nepal normally grown on residual moisture after harvest of rice. A severe botrytis gray mold disease (BGM) epidemic in 1997/98 devastated the crop in Nepal and the damage was two-fold. Not only did farmers lose their crop, they did not cultivate chickpea in the following season due to lack of seed and disillusionment with the crop. A collaborative program between the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Natural Resources Institute (NRI) was launched on the Integrated Crop Management (ICM). The focus was on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to fight diseases (BGM and wilt) and insect-pests (pod borer) to rehabilitate chickpea in the rainfed rice and maize based cropping systems in Nepal. The components of ICM technology included high yielding chickpea variety, Avarodhi (tolerant to BGM), treating seed with fungicide (Bavistin), wider row spacing, and applying need-based sprays of fungicide (Bavistin) to control BGM, and need based application of insecticide, Monocrotophos® or tndosuljan® (Ihiodan) and biocide (Nuclear Poly neurosis Virus NPV) for the management of pod borer. In the 1998/99 seasons, ICM technology was evaluated in 110 farmers' fields, and large yield responses were obtained. The following season saw a five-fold increase in adoption of chickpea using the ICM package. This number multiplied to 1100 farmers in 2000/01, 7000 farmers in 2001/02, 15,000 farmers in 2002/03 and 21,000 farmers in 2003/04. The overall mean grain yield obtained by adopting ICM (2.5 t/ha) was 124.5% greater than yield from non-ICM farmers. The increase in net income for chickpea cultivation attributable to ICM was two to six-fold. Further on-farm ICM of chickpea resulted in: 1) increase in family income by 80-100%, 2) increase in protein consumption by 40%, 3) increase in brick and mortar houses by 22%, 4) increase in labor use by 20%, 5) increase in household expenditures by 45%), and 6) increase in livestock ownership by 30%). Chickpea performance for profit and wealth was $216 per farmer that resulted in increase in overall wealth of 3500 project farmers by $750,000. In addition to these contributions, a farmer-friendly BGM disease forecasting system was developed and village level farmer-owned seed systems and IPM schools were initiated to sustain chickpea in Nepal. The ICM technology used so successfully in Nepal also holds great potential for chickpea in BGM-prone areas in India and Bangladesh

publication date

  • 2005