Dual-purpose rabbi sorghum suitable for low input cultivation systems: A targeted agri-intervention for tribal farming communities of Utnoor
Why work with them / What was done
Center for Collective Development (CCD) is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization working to improve livelihoods and to enable farmers to become entrepreneurs through effective capacity building, strong partnerships, and profitable market linkages. Currently, CCD works with farmers producing pigeon pea, chickpea, groundnut, mungbean, urdbean, soybean, rice, cotton, mustard, and mango spread across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Their portfolio is centered around capacity building, training for sustainable Agri practices, building market-linkages, and establishing cooperatives, food processing organizations (FPOs), and innovative business models that are beneficial for farmers, local businesses, and the economy. Team GEMS work closely with CCD-Utnoor (Adilabad district, Telangana, India) and CCD-Kalyandurgam (Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, India) to understand the existing agri-food cultivation scenarios in these regions and integrate sustainable, economically viable, and socially acceptable technologies in order to sustainably improve the socio-economic wellbeing of target farming communities.PrajaMitraRaitu MACS Federation Limited was registered in 2007 under AP Mutually Aided Co-operative Societies Act, 1995. It is a self-governing confederation of 117 existing cooperatives with 7546 members in the Utnoor region. The Federation has established pigeon pea processing mill with a capacity to process 10MT of pigeon pea per day; an agri-inputs shop that supply quality seeds and fertilizers; a horticulture nursery; a vermicompost unit for production and marketing; and a cooperative society to promote small savings to meet short-term credit needs with 1746 members. With the Federation, the GEMS team is working to identify nutritionally-dense climate-resilient rabi-sorghum and pigeon pea cultivars suitable for the Utnoor region.
For us gems means GEMS, or G*E*M*S (genotype by environment by management by society) interactions, i.e. the fact that crop yields results from complex biophysical interactions while acceptance depends on farmer/consumer preferences. This complexity becomes an opportunity when it is cracked into components that can be analysed, understood, predicted, and then used to prioritise research investments to maximise return. This is what we do, and this is when GEMS become gems!
For us gems means GEMS, or G*E*M*S (genotype by environment by management by society) interactions, i.e. the fact that crop yields results from complex biophysical interactions while acceptance depends on farmer/consumer preferences. This complexity becomes an opportunity when it is cracked into components that can be analyzed, understood, predicted, and then used to prioritize research investments to maximise return. This is what we do, and this is when GEMS become gems!
A crop performs in different ways in different sites, years and agronomic managements. These are called genotype-by-environment-by management(G*E*M) interactions, and they are a main challenge for breeders and agronomists. There is one more layer of interaction, even more complex: the society (S). Farmers and consumers have different desires, needs, expectations, and a cultivar that fits one may not fit the other (G*E*M*S interactions). The puzzle is complex and challenging but if its components are understood, specific interventions can be undertaken.For instance, breeding for a particular genotype (G, with particular physiological characteristics), for a particular environment (E, with a particular kind of drought pattern that requires a specific adaptive trait), in a particular management practice (M, for instance a sowing density, or a N fertilizer treatment), and targeted to particular farmer/consumer (S, for instance a genotype that produces a lot of rich stover for cattle ranchers) is the need of the hour.