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AICRP on Kharif Pulses


Systematic research on pulses was started with the establishment of the All India Coordinated Pulses Improvement Project (AICPIP) in 1967 with its headquarters at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. At that time, the project was started at 12 centres located in State Agricultural Universities and Departments of Agriculture. In 1978, the project was elevated to the status of Project Directorate (Pulses) while its headquarters were shifted to the then IARI Regional Research Station, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The Project Directorate (Pulses) was further strengthened with the inclusion of basic and strategic research in its mandate and elevated as Directorate of Pulses Research (DPR) in 1984 at Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. During the VIII five year plan (1992-1997) the AICPIP was divided into three projects viz., AICRP on Chickpea, Pigeonpea and MULLaRP (Mungbean Urdbean, Lentil, Lathyrus, Rajmash & Pea) and the posts of Project Coordinators were created to provide independent leadership to the respective AICRPs.
In arid legumes, the systematic research work was started in 1992 with the creation of All India Coordinated Research Project on Arid Legumes which covered cluster bean, moth bean, cowpea and horsegram. In 1995, a committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. P.N. Bahl, Ex. ADG, ICAR recommended the shifting of project from ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi to RAU, Bikaner. On the recommendations of Jain Committee, the AICRP on Arid Legumes was brought under All India Network Research Project on Arid Legumes in the later part of 1999 and its headquarters was shifted to CAZRI, Jodhpur. Consequent upon the approval of EFC Memo, the headquarters of this Network project was shifted to ICAR-Indian Institute of Pulses Research, Kanpur during XII Plan period w.e.f. 01.04.2015 for coordinating the research activities.
Subsequently, in the XII five year plan the 3 AICRPs on Chickpea, Pigeonpea and MULLaRP and the Network Project on Arid Legumes were restructured into two AICRPS viz., AICRP on Kharif Pulses and AICRP on Rabi Pulses to have focused programmes on breeding and refinement of production and protection technologies that have shown profound effect on realizing crop productivity targets. Accordingly, the AICRP on Kharif Pulses is currently in operational at 35 centers across the country with a support of 116 scientific manpower and 76 technical staff.

Coordination Unit

The Coordination Unit, AICRP on Kharif Pulses is located in the premises of ICAR-IIPR, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh at 26o27’N latitude, 80o14’E longitude and 152.4 meter above the mean sea level. It is situated on Grand Trunk Road, 12 km from Kanpur Central Railway Station towards New Delhi. The overall climate varies from semi-arid to arid. The summers are very hot and winters are cool and dry.
Currently, the AICRP on Kharif Pulses is headed by Dr. Aditya Pratap, (Project Coordinator) and scientifically assisted by Dr. Satheesh Naik SJ, Scientist, (Plant Breeding and Dr. Basavaraja, T., Scientist (Plant Breeding). The unit has a technical staff (Mr. Rakesh), stenographer (Mr. H.G. Rathore) and SSG to look after the office related activities. Contractual research and field staff look after field and laboratory related research activities.


AICRP on Kharif Pulses has a mandate to conduct, monitor, guide, coordinate and carry out the research programme on 9 kharif season pulse crops including pigeonpea, mungbean, urdbean, cowpea, horse gram, moth bean, cluster bean, rajmash and rice bean at various centres and sub-centres spread over different states in India. The major mandates of AICRP, Kharif Pulses are:

  • To uphold the increase in production of kharif pulses at national level, through intensification and enhanced genetic gain of cultivars.
  • Coordination of strategic and applied interdisciplinary research at national level to provide greater grain yield by overcoming yield reducing factors in following areas.
    • Intensification of cultivation through identification, introduction and breeding kharif pulses to new agro-ecological niches
    • Genetic improvement in yield, quality and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.
    • Development of efficient package of crop production and protection practices suitable to different ecologies and cropping systems.
    • Genetic diversification of crops for alternative and additional uses.
    • Product diversification and value addition for higher economic gain.
  • Technology dissemination through front line demonstrations, on farm research, Kisan Mela’s, seminars, etc.
  • Human resource development by conducting training programmes for technical staff and farmers about improved technologies for growing pigeonpea profitably.
  • Identification of collaborative programmes in pulses research at national and international level.
  • Conducting impact study for feedback and refinement of technology.


  • AICRP on Kharif Pulses operates with the following objectives:
  • Plant Genetic Resource management (collection, evaluation, maintenance and utilization) in association with ICAR-IIPR and ICAR-NBPGR
  • Development of high yielding varieties including hybrids (pigeonpea) with multiple stress tolerance and enhanced nutritional quality for different agro-ecological zones
  • Development of location-specific crop production and crop protection technologies
  • Production of breeder seed as per DAC&FW indents to meet quality seed requirement of different pulses
  • Demonstration of newly developed varieties/technologies through FLDs

Thrust Areas

  • The major thrust areas of AICRP, Kharif Pulses include the following:
  • Maintenance of crop genetic resources and widening the genetic base through pre-breeding and targeted breeding approaches
  • Development of early maturing and photo-thermo perdiod insensitive varieties for diversifying the rice-wheat cropping system
  • Exploitation of heterosis in pigeonpea for development of new high yielding hybrids and development of diverse cytoplasmic male-sterile and R-lines resistant to Phytophthora stem blight (PSB), Fusarium wilt, Sterility Mosaic Disease (SMD) and major abiotic stresses in desired agronomic background.
  • Identifying/evolving elite and stable sources of resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses for use in breeding programmes
  • Improving water and nutrient use efficiencies in rainfed production systems.
  • Development and dissemination of advanced, cost-effective integrated production technologies for enhanced livelihood of farmers
  • Development of profitable intercropping and sequence-cropping systems to make production of kharif pulses more profitable.
  • Production and distribution of quality seed materials with desired genetic purity
  • Conducting front-line demonstrations and promoting linkages with extension agencies and user industries, promoting farmer-participatory selection at selected target regions.
  • Development of harvest, post-harvest and value addition technologies for reducing crop losses
  • Development of national database on research efforts, and promote technology exchange with NARS and International partners.


  • The varietal trials of pigeonpea are conducted by 24 regular and 8 voluntary centers (Tandur, Navasari, Bharuch, Tirupati, Chitrakoot,
  • Araul, Naini and Chianki) spread over five Agro-climatic Zones of India.
  • North West Plain Zone: North West Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Western Uttar Pradesh.
  • North East Plain Zone: Eastern and Central Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand
  • Hilly Zone: Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Tripura
  • Central Zone: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh.
  • South Zone: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Orissa, Tamil Nadu.
  • The zones consisting of regular centers are depicted through following diagram:-


Budget/Financial Allocation

Head Wise break-up of Plan Budget in respect of AICRP on Kharif Pulses under DARE/ICAR during 2022-23 is given below
(Rs. in lakh)

Head Pigeonpea Mungbean, urdbean and rajmash Arid Legumes Total
Grants in Aid-Capital
Grants in Aid-salaries 1442.72 1254.29 256.12 2953.13
164.30 194.05 42.64 358.35
TSP 14.66 11.34 26.00
Total 1621.68 1459.68 298.76 3380.12

Cadre Strength

With the merger of 3 AICRPS (Chickpea, Pigeopnpea and MULLaRP) and 1 AINP (Arid legumes) to result in two  AICRPs (Kharif pulses and Rabu pulses), the AICRP, Kharif Pulses now operates with a total manpower of  192 at 35 centers across the country. This includes 116 scientific manpower and 76 technical staff. The scientists belong to 3 major disciplines viz., Crop Improvement (Breeding, Genetic resource management and Breeder seed production), Crop Production (Agronomy, Physiology and Microbiology) and Crop Protection (Entomology, Pathology and Nematology).

Significant Achievements

Development of new varieties*

  • Since the inception of AICRP in pulses, a total of 188 varieties have been developed and released in pigeonpea. In the last 10 years alone, 62 superior varieties of pigeonpea have been developed by various NARS partners. These also include 6 hybrids each developed through GMS and CMS-based systems.
  • In mungbean, a total of 141 varieties have been developed after 1985. These include 56 varieties developed after 2013.
  • In case of urdbean 121 improved varieties have been developed after 1985 including 50  varieties developed in the last 10 years. In arid legumes, a total of    varieties have been developed till date. These include32 varieties of cowpea, 21 each of cluster bean and horse gram and 8 of moth bean.

*For details of these varieties, please see Project Coordinator’s Report 2023

Production Technologies

Nutrient Management

  • Application of recommended dose of fertilizers along with foliar spraying of 1% urea + 0.25% Zn + 0.25% B at 50% flowering followed by Indoxacarb spraying at flowering and one systemic insecticide spray after 15 days of first spray has recorded significantly higher grain yield in pigeonpea.
  • Combined application of recommended dose of fertilizers (inorganic), organics (FYM @ 5 t/ha or vermin compost @ 2.5 t/ha) and bio-fertilizers increased the pigeonpea grain equivalent yield than their individual effects.
  • Application of 100 % recommended dose of fertilizer (18-25 N:40-50 P2O5: 20-25 K2O: 20 S kg/ha) along with 5 ton FYM/ha and seed inoculation with combination of Rhizobium + LMn      16 was found better for higher grain yield in mungbean and urdbean.
  • Foliar spray of 0.5 % ZnSO4 + 0.5 % FeSO4 at flower initiation at Dharwad (1058 kg/ha) and at flower initiation and pod initiation at Bhilwara (1191 kg/ha) recorded higher grain       yield of Mungbean. Application of Plant growth regulator GA3 @ 30 – 45 ppm spray at       flowering and pod initiation recorded higher grain yield.
  • Foliar spray of salicylic acid 100 ppm or complex NPK (19:19: 19) at flowering proved better for higher grain yield at Kota. Similarly at Ludhiana, foliar application of TNAU Pulse wonder @ 5 kg/ha or DAP 2 % at flowering and 15 days later or complex NPK (19:19: 19) at flowering proved better for higher grain yield in urdbean.
  • Foliar spray of salicylic acid 100 ppm or complex NPK (19:19: 19) at flowering proved better for higher grain yield at Kota. Similarly at Ludhiana, foliar application of TNAU Pulse wonder @ 5 kg/ha or DAP 2 % at flowering and 15 days later or complex NPK (19:19: 19) at flowering proved better for higher grain yield in mungbean and urdbean.

Weed Management

  • Pre-emergence herbicide Pendimethalin @0.75 kg a.i./ha + early post emergence application of Imazethapyr @100 g a.i./ha on 10-15 DAS ( 2-3 leaf stage of weed) + one hand weeding at 50 DAS had relatively more weed control and increased the pigeonpea yield.
  • Pre-emergence herbicide pendimethalin @ 0.75 kg i./ha as PE with one inter-cultivation at 20 – 25 DAS or imazethapyr @ 40 g a.i./ha or imazethapyr + imazamox @ 40 g/ha at 2-3 leaf stage of weeds in cowpea.
  • Pendimethalin 30 EC + Imazethapyr 2 EC @ 1.0 kg/ha (Vallore 32) and Imazethapyr @ 55 g/ha were most effective herbicides for kharif mungbean and urdbean (NWPZ, NEPZ, CZ and SZ).

Water Management

  • Scheduling of irrigation at 75% to 100% CPE recorded significantly higher pigeonpea grain yield with a spacing of 120 x 60 cm. Three supplemental irrigations (50 DAS, flowering and pod development stage) has registered higher grain yield.


  • At majority of the testing centres intercropping systems (Pigeonpea+Urdbean and pigeonpea+soybean) recorded significantly higher pigeonpea grain equivalent yield compared to sole pigeonpea. An inter pigeonpea spacing of 90-120 cm was found optimal for intercropping. Plant spacing of 90 x 30 cm is ideal for pigeonpea – urdbean intercropping for higher grain yield and economics.
  • In mungbean + pigeonpea intercropping system, 1:1 row ratio with 100 %recommended dose of phosphorus (RDP) at Dharwad and 5:1 row ratio with 150 %

RDP at Lam was better for higher mungbean equivalent yield.

Yield maximization

  • Application of vermin-compost along with pusa hydrogel at 2.5 kg/ha and at Vamban, FYM at 5 t/ha along with pusa hydrogel at 2.5 kg/ha followed by foliar spraying of 2% KH2PO4 at flowering and 2% KNO3 at pod development stage has registered higher grain yield.
  • Tank mix application of Indoxcarb and TNAU pulse wonder at 5.0 kg/ha followed by Rynaxipyr application at 15 days later has registered significantly higher grain yield and benefit cost ratio.
  • Application of FYM @ 5 t/ha pusa hydrogel @ 2.5 kg/ha + 2% KH2PO4 at flowering + 2% KNO3 at pod development stage recorded significantly higher grain yield and net returns.

Microbial formulations

  • The efficiency of Rhizobium was very much improved by co-inoculation with phosphobacteria.

Combined inoculation of Rhizobium (CPR-9), AM Fungi (Glomussp.) along with P2O5 increased the nodulation and grain yield of pigeonpea. Performance of efficient pigeonpea rhizobial strains was tested under different agro-ecological conditions and two strains viz., AKPR-101, GRR 8-10 performed better with respect to grain yield.

  • Among the different Phosphate solubilising bacterial strains, PSB-1 (Coimbatore) and PSB-Glb-11 along with Rhizobium recorded highest grain yield of pigeonpea.
  • To evaluate the potash releasing bacterial (KRB) strains in pigeonpea the experiment was carried out using four KRB strains individually and in combination with Rhizobium. Among the different KRB strains, the combination of KRB-2, KRB 3 and KRB 4 with Rhizobium increased the grain yield.
  • Multifunctional rhizobacteria LPGR-16 (Ludhiana), PPFM(Coimbatore) and PUK-171 showed maximum grain yield in mungbean. Nutrient mobilizing rhizobacteria PNm2 (Pantnagar) outperformed other strains in mungbean. MOR 12, CMR 4 and MOR 1 were found efficient strains of rhizobium for improving yield potential in mungbean .


The NARS partners of AICRP, Kharif Pulses include various state agricultural universities, their regional stations/centers and some of eth central Agricultural Universities and ICAR Institutes. The major NARS partners are:

  • RPCAU (Pusa), Dholi (Bihar)
  • BAU, Sabour (Bihar)
  • BAU, Ranchi, Kanke (Jharkhand)
  • BHU, Varanasi (U.P.)
  • BCKV, Mohanpur, Kalyani (WB)
  • CCS HAU, Hisar (Haryana)
  • CSKHPKV, Palampur (H.P.)
  • PAU, Ludhiana (Punjab)
  • RARI, Durgapura (Raj.)
  • SKNRAU, Bikaner (Raj.)
  • GBPUAT, Pantnagar (Uttarakhand)
  • IGKV, Raipur (Chhattisgarh)
  • JAU, Junagadh (Gujarat)
  • SDAU, S.K. Nagar (Gujarat)
  • UAS, Bijapur (Karnataka)
  • VNMKV, Parbani, Badnapur (Maharashtra)
  • PDKV, Akola (Maharashtra)
  • MPKV, Rahuri
  • RAK College, Sehore (M.P.)
  • JNKVV, Jabalpur (M.P.)
  • COA, Khargone (M.P.)
  • ARS, JNKVV, Sagar (M.P.)
  • AU, Kota (Raj.)
  • ARS, ANGRAU, Lam (A.P.)
  • UAS, Raichur Gulbarga (Karnataka)
  • UAS, Dharwad (Karnataka)
  • OUAT, CPR, Berhampur (Odisha)
  • TNAU, Coimbatore (T.N.)
  • NPRC, TNAU, Vamban (T.N.)
  • PJPTAU, Warrangal
  • UAS, Bengaluru (Karnataka)
  • SKUAST, Srinagar (J&K)
  • AAU, Shillongani(Assam)
  • CAU, Imphal, Manipur
  • CoA, Agartala, Tripura

Besides the above centres some voluntary centres also associated with AICRP, Kharif Pulses who conduct trials in different disciplines:

  • ANGRAU, Nandyal (Andhra Pradesh)
  • SKUAS&T, Jammu, Samba (Jammu & Kashmir)
  • RLBCAU, Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh)
  • ICAR-VPKAS, Almora (Uttarakhand)
  • CSK HPKVV Research Centre, Akrot, Distt. Una 177211 (H.P.)
  • CSK HPKV-HAREC, Bajaura -175125, Distt. Kullu (H.P.)
  • CSK HPKV, Research Sub-station, Berthin, Bilaspur  174 029  (H.P.)
  • HAREC, Dhaulakuan, Dist. Sirmour, HP – 173031
  • RARS, Gossaigaon-783360 (Assam)
  • HAREC Kukumseri, PO & Tehsil, Udaipur Distt Lahaul &Spiti  P  175142
  • CSK HPKV Palampur, Distt. Kangra 176 062 (H.P.)
  • CSK HPKV-MAREC, Sangla – 172 106,Distt. Kinnaur, H.P
  • CSKHPKV-MARES, Salooni, District Chamba 176320 (H.P.)
  • ICAR National Organic  Farming Research Institute, TADONG, Gangtok  737 102 (Sikkim)
  • ICAR, Res. Complex for NEH Region, Umrai Road, Umiam, Barapani  – 793103 (Meghalaya)
  • SKUAST of Kashmir, Wadura-193201 (J&K)
  • ARS, SKNAU, Tabiji, Ajmer- 305206 (RJ)
  • MPUA&T, Dryland Farming Research Station, Arjia, Bhilwara
  • ICAR-CAZRI, Jodhpur 342003 (Raj.)
  • KVK, Pali- Marwar-306401 (Raj.)
  • PAU, Regional Station, Gurdaspur – 143521, Punjab
  • IARI, New Delhi – 110 012
  • Agriculture University, Mandor,Jodhpur-342304 Rajasthan
  • ARSS, Near JLN hospital, Bikaner Road, Nagaur-341001 (Raj)
  • ARSS, Basad Farm Pratapgarh-312605 (RJ)
  • BAU, Sabour, Bhagalpur 813 210, Bihar
  • UBKV Pundibari, Cooch Behar-736165, West Bengal  ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region
  • ICAR Parisar, Patna 800 014 (Bihar)
  • Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat 785 013 (Assam)
  • RAU, Pusa Samastipur 848 125,  Bihar
  • Regional Research Station, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Malda (W.B.) 732101
  • IGKV, Rajmohni DeviCollege of Agril. Res. Station, Ambikapur 407 001
  • Anand Agricultural University Anand 388 110, Gujarat
  • Banda University of Agriculture and Technology, Banda, 210001, Uttar Pradesh
  • DKS College of Agri & Research Station(IGKVV) Khapradih, Bhatapara –493 118 (CG)
  • College of Agriculture, N.A.U., Bharuch Campus, Maktampur, Bharuch (Gujarat)
  • BTC College of Agri. & Regional Agril. Res. Station, IGKVV, Sarkanda, Bilaspur –
  • Faculty of Agriculture, M.G.C.G.V.V., Chitrakoot (Satna), M.P. 485334
  • ARS, Anand Agricultural University, Derol-389320, Distt.- Panchmahal (Guj)
  • Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Harda Indore Road, Distt. Harda – 461331
  • Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Bankhedi, District- Hoshangabad  461990 (M.P.)
  • IGKVV-S.G. College of Agri. & Res. Station, Jagdalpur 494 005 Bastar (CG)
  • MPKV- Oil Seed Res. Station Nimkhedi Road, Jalgaon 425 001 (M.S.)
  • MPKV- NARP, ZARStion, Aundh Khadki Road, Ganeshkhind, Pune – 411 007 (MS)
  • PORS, Pandharpur-413004 (MS), Distt. Solapur
  • ZARS, Solapur-413002 (MS)
  • Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai-400085
  • Pulses Research Station AAU, Model Farm Vadodara 390 003 (Guj)
  • ARS, DCMS Buildings, Kamlanagar, Anathapuramu-515001 (AP)
  • ARS near Hugeri, Bidar 585 401 (Karnataka)
  • High Altitude and Tribal Zone, RARS, ANGRAU CHINTAPALLE – 531 111, Andhra Pradesh
  • CRIDA, Santoshnagar, Saidabad, Hyderabad-500059
  • ICAR-IIPR, RRC, UAS, Campus, Dharwad-580005
  • PJTSA-Agril. Res. Station, Madhira – 507 203, Distt. Khamman (Telangana)
  • College and Res. Institute, Madurai 625 104 (TN)
  • Agriculture Research Station, Mugad -580007, Dist: Dharwad (Karnataka)
  • State Pulses Res. Station, Nayagarh – 752 069,Distt-Puri (Orissa)
  • RARS (ANGRAU), Nandyal 518 502 (A.P.)
  • RRS, Krishnagiri Distt. Paiyur-635112 (TN)
  • Regional Agricultural Research Station Tirupati- 517 502 Chittoor Distt.(A.P)
  • Agriculture Research Station Tandur, Ranga Reddy -501 141 Telangana


International Partners

The international partners of AICRP, Kharif Pulses include the following:

  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, Hyderabad,
  • World Vegetable Centre, Taiwan/Hyderabad
  • International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Morocco/India

AICRP on Kharif Pulses

For more details, please contact:

Dr. Aditya Pratap

Project Coordinator, AICRP on Kharif Pulses

ICAR-Indian Institute of Pulses Research, Kanpur-208 024

Phone:  (Off.): 0512-2580985, 2580996, Ext. 6203

Mobile :  9452060055; Fax : 0512-2580992,


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