1International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru 502 324, Greater Hyderabad, Andhra, Pradesh, India.
2Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India.
3Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India.
Production and area of chickpea are reducing every year in India due to competition with horticulture and other cash crops in irrigated areas. There is a great scope for expanding chickpea production with or without limited irrigation in rainfed rice fallow lands (RRFL) in the states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Nineteen chickpea genotypes were tested using participatory varietal selection (PVS) trials on farmers’ fields in each of the four districts of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Among the several traits of the introduced chickpea varieties, grain yield was the most preferred trait by farmers, followed by resistance to diseases and early maturity. Selection of chickpea genotypes varied over time and location depending on agronomic and climatic pressures, indicating a preference by farmers for growing multiple, improved varieties. Yield potential of PVS genotypes averaged up to 50% greater than the local cultivar. Farmers’ participation in the selection process of genotypes laid the foundation of better and sustainable yields of chickpea and thereby providing better economic returns suitable to small farmers of RRFL of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The results of this study can be replicated in the similar environments in Asia and Africa. Keywords: Farmer participatory; Improved genotype; Mother and daughter trials; Plant breeding; Rainfed rice fallow; Varietal selection.