Field Performance of Pigeonpea with the Calcium Chloride as Seed Priming Technology in NICRA Village of Kalaburagi District, Karnataka, India

Field Performance of Pigeonpea with the Calcium Chloride as Seed Priming Technology in NICRA Village of Kalaburagi District, Karnataka, India

Raju G. Teggelli , Zaheer Ahamed B* , Yusufali A. N , D. H. Patil , Shreenivas B. V , Manjunath Patil

ICAR- Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kalaburagi - 585 101, University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur - 584 104, Karnataka, India

Corresponding Author Email:

DOI : CHE.2020.v01i01.024


Field experiments were conducted NICRA (National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture) project implemented village Melakunda (B) of Kalaburagi district to study the influence of seed priming with CaCl2 (2%) in pigeonpea growth, yield and quality parameters during 2018-19 under rainfed condition. The result reveals that, seed priming with CaCl2 (2%) recorded higher Plant height, Number of branches, Total number of pods, Number of seed/pod, 100 seed weight, Seed yield and higher seed quality parameters like seed germination, root length, and field emergence compared to control under drought condition.


CaCl2, Drought tolerance, Pigeonpea, Seed priming, seed yield

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Pulses are important constituent of the Indian diet and supply major part of the protein and energy requirement and they are rich source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron etc. and also certain essential amino acids [9]. They are the main source of protein particularly for vegetarians and contribute 14 per cent of total protein of an average Indian diet. In India, pulses are being cultivated over an area of 31.11 m. ha with an annual production of 25.42 m.ton and productivity of 817 kg ha-1 [7]. The per capita availability of pulses in India is hardly 47 g/person/day against WHO’s recommendation of 80 g/person/day so to meet this gap there is urgent need to evolve appropriate strategies for increasing production and productivity of pulses to meet the protein requirement of ever increasing population.

Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan L.) commonly known as  redgram, tur and arhar is  the fifth prominent legume crop in the world and cultivated in 77 countries; the five countries – India, China, USA, Brazil and Pakistan together produces 78% of the total world production from 72% of the world gross pigeonpea area. India is the largest producer of pigeonpea contributing 90% to the world’s production. Pigeonpea is a major protein rich legume grown throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. However, major area under pigeonpea in India is covering an area of about 4.04 m. ha producing 2.65 m.ton with an average productivity of 656 kg ha-1 [1]. In India, among the pulses, pigeonpea is occupying second position in area (15%) and production (17%) after chickpea (IC Pulses, 2020-Bhupal) which has diversified uses as food, feed, fodder and fuel. Pigeonpea being, excellent source of high quality protein and carbohydrate and it occupies an important place in vegetarian population. Pigeonpea is grown in almost all the states in India and larger portion of the area is in the states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and together they occupy 87.89 per cent of area and contribute 86.10 per cent to the total production. In Karnataka, it is grown in an area of 0.88 m ha with a production of 0.83 m t and average yield of 999 kg ha-1 [2].

In Karnataka, the major area of pigeonpea comes under the North Eastern Dry Zone (Zone-2), the total geographical area of this zone is about 1.76 million ha, covering eleven taluks of three districts, namely, Kalaburgi, Bidar and Raichur. The mean elevation of the zone is 300–460 m above MSL. The temperature ranges more than 300 C and semi-arid condition with the annual precipitation varies from 633.2 mm to 780 mm. An average normal rainfall amount of 620 mm is received during the kharif season (55 per cent) and the remaining 45 per cent of the rainfall or about 70 mm in the pre-monsoon. About 140 mm occurs in the northeast monsoon.

Drought is a major environmental factor that adversely affects the productivity and survival of plants [12]. Plants that experience drought conditions often appear serious physiological and biochemical dysfunctions, including: reduction in turgor, growth, photosynthetic rate, and stomatal conductance, as well as damage to various cellular components [15] and [18].

The productivity of pigeonpea is constrained by various biotic and abiotic factors, resulting in drastic reduction in yields and harvesting miserably poor yields (600-700 kg ha-1) in comparison to its potential yield (2500 to 3000 kg ha-1). Among the biotic stress drought is one of the certain unique features of pigeonpea viz., their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen in symbiotic association with rhizobium, deep penetrating root system enabling them to draw moisture from deeper moist soil layers. Pigeonpea is a versatile deep rooted legume crop, well known for its drought tolerance under kharif rainfed upland ecosystem [6] and very often affected with vagaries of monsoon. Crop experiences prolonged dry spells during the critical growth stages especially during flowering to pod development stage (terminal drought), heavily reduce the yield of the crop. Therefore there is a need to identify suitable ameliorative measures to overcome the moisture stress effect. The pre-sowing seed treatment with CaCl2 is one of the best techniques being employed to modify the morpho-physio-biochemical nature of seed, so as to induce the characters that are favorable for drought resistance. Keeping these views, the investigation was under taken to study the influence of drought tolerance by seed priming with CaCl2 (2%) on growth, yield and quality parameters in pigeon pea [8] and [14].


A field demonstration was conducted to study the influence of climate resilient intervention in pigeonpea by seed priming with CaCl2 (2%) during 2019-20 under rainfed condition in NICRA village (Melakunda B) of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Kalaburagi. The NICRA village receives annual rainfall of 750 mm. The experiments consist of two treatments i.e control and seed priming with CaCl2. A day before sowing, the pigeonpea seeds were soaked in solution of CaCl2 (2%) for one hours and later seeds were dried under shade for seven hours to its original moisture. The seeds were sown in field by following all the normal pigeonpea packages of practices includes agronomic practices and plant protection measures for the crop. To know the effect of seed soaking on germination and early seedling vigour, 100 seeds were sown in each plot. The germination count was taken from these plots. From this the percentage germination was worked out. The seedlings were thinned out at 8 days. The observations on per cent germination, root length and field emergence were recorded at the beginning of crop growth. The observations on plant height (cm), number of branches, total number of pods per plant, Number of seed per pod, 100 Seed weight (g) and seed yield recorded after harvest of the crop.


Drought tolerance technologies are very few in pulses especially in Pigeonpea based cropping system. Field experiments were conducted in NICRA village (Melkunda B) of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Kalaburagi,  Karnataka to study the influence of seed priming with CaCl2 (2%) in Pigeonpea growth, yield and quality parameters during 2019-20 under rainfed condition. During investigation twenty-three days dry spell observed prior to sowing and after sowing i.e between 11/06/2019 to 09 /07/2019. The data shows that after sowing up to twenty-three days there was no rainfall received and hence’s there was moisture stress at germination and seedling growth in the pigeonpea field. In such conditions Parameters like seed germination (90 %), root length (11.0 cm), and field emergence (85 %) were higher in the seed priming with CaCl2 (2%) when compared to the control plot (82 %, 9.3 cm and 80% respectively) under drought condition. The result reveals that, seed priming with CaCl2 (2%) recorded higher Plant height (179.2 cm), Number of branches (16.4), Total number of pods (279 pods/plant), Number of seed/pod (4.0), 100 seed weight (10.3), Seed yield (13.2 q/ha) when compared to the control plot. The improvement in germination by seed priming with CaCl2 (2%) under drought condition led to physicochemical changes within the cytoplasm leading to improvement in seed germination, seed viability, vigour, root length and shoot length in chickpea crops has been recorded [16] and reviewed by many workers [13], [10] and [5]. Many studies on the improvement of growth and yield due to pre sowing seed treatment with CaCl2 are documented [16], [11] and [3]. The improvement in yield and yield parameters in pulse crops has been attributed to the beneficial effects of seed priming with CaCl2 due to increased bound water content, triggering of biosynthesis of nucleic acids and rapid germination and growth of seedlings resulting in increased uptake of nutrients and the ability of the treated seeds to with stand high temperature for prolonged periods under dry condition [17] further [4] reported that the increase in yield of chickpea with seed hardening with CaCl2-2% may be attributed to increase in the total chlorophyll, chl-a and chl-b chlorophyll stability index, proline content, relative water content, coupled with lower of specific leaf area as compare to control.

Table. 1.   Calcium chloride role in seed germination and growth and yield of pigeonpea


Based on the present experiment conducted, it could be concluded that the seed priming with CaCl2 (2%) improved yield and seed quality parameters in pigeonpea over control. This simple technique may be employed by the growers to realize the potential yield and seed quality parameters.


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