Country India Capital : New Delhi

India has a population of around 1.3 billion people. The agriculture and food sector in India accounts for 18-20% of gross national income.

It employs around 53% of the country’s working population, and agricultural and food trade generates up to 10% of national exports. Agricultural production focuses on the following food crops: rice, maize, wheat, banana, and potato.

35-47% of the food energy consumed in India comes from crops that are not native to the region. Most of these plants’ diversity is found elsewhere on the planet.

India signed the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in 2002, joining 142 other contracting parties in commitment to the global system. Additionally, India contributed USD 456,391 to the Crop Trust Endowment Fund.

Photo Credit: ICRISAT

The Crop Trust has supported 6 projects in India

  1. Banana: The National Research Center for Banana (NRCB) that worked in collaboration with ProMusa and Bioversity International received support from the Crop Trust to evaluate 18 banana accessions for drought tolerance with the aim of identifying banana varieties with tolerant genes for direct use by farmers in water deficit zones of banana cultivation and to develop new varieties with wider adaptation.
  2. Banana: The Crop Trust supported the National Research Center for Banana (NRCB) to regenerate and characterize 200 banana accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop. 60 accessions are safety duplicated in Bioversity International.
  3. Millets: The Crop Trust provided support to the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to evaluate 238 accessions of the pearl millet mini-core for heat tolerance at two sites in India. 27 accessions were found to be tolerant to heat.
  4. Millets and Sorghum: The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) receives an in perpetuity grant from the Crop Trust for the long term conservation of the global collections of sorghum and pearl millet it holds on behalf of the international community.
  5. Rice: The Crop Trust supported Punjab Agricultural University to evaluate 350 wild rice accessions for iron deficiency under aerobic conditions and also agronomic and physiological traits suited for high water use efficiency with the aim being to identify sources of genes for traits to be incorporated into breeding programs for developing adapted deep water rice varieties for increased yield.
  6. Sorghum: The Crop Trust supported the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) that worked collaboration with the Texas A&M University, USA, to evaluate 248 sorghum accessions for resistance to fungal diseases with the objective of identifying potential sources of resistant genes and making them available to breeding programs worldwide. The project let to the identification of 14 accessions as potential sources of resistance.