Hand-pollinating pigeon pea flowers in an outdoor propagation field of ICRISAT (International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics) near Hyderabad, India. These pigeon pea experiments are covered in netting to keep out birds, bats, and insects, and allow for controlled pollination/propagation. The workers keep the flowers with the desired pollen genetics in their chest pocket and then pollinate each target flower with tweezers. Then they tie a small thread to the base of the flower to designate controlled pollination.
ICRISAT is an UN-affiliated crop research institute that seeks to increase the yield of food crops of small-scale farmers in dry tropical regions with improved genetics and farm techniques. Their primary research facilities are near Hyderabad, India, with satellite research facilities in various African countries. ICRISAT conducts research solely on sorghum, millet, chickpea, pigeon pea, and peanut, which are key subsistence crops for non-irrigated farmland in Africa and S. Asia, and maintains a gene bank with over 120,000 varieties.
- ©2021 George Steinmetz
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