2018 Volume 68 Issue 2 Pages 159-167
Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] is an ideal pulse crop of rainfed tropics and sub-tropics due to its high nutritive value and ability to survive various biotic and abiotic stresses. Thus it has continued to be cultivated on marginal land mostly under rainfed situation where the risk of crop failure is very high. To have insurance against crop failures and harvest more food in time and space, most farmers grow pigeonpea as an intercrop with short-aged cereals and other crops. Presently, intercropping system accounts for over 70% of the pigeonpea area. However, yield of pigeonpea in this system is very low (400–500 kg/ha). The non-availability of improved cultivars adapted specifically to the intercropping environments is perhaps the major constraint that accounts for low yield. Considering the food and nutritional needs of the ever increasing population, productivity enhancement of this high-protein pulse is highly indispensable. In this review, the authors critically examine the technical difficulties encountered by breeders in developing high yielding cultivars for intercropping systems and discuss the strategies to overcome these constraints.