The International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is focussing on developing drought and virus tolerant varieties of common crops like chick pea, pigeon pea and groundnut in the semi arid tropics. Keeping in view the problems facing farmers in enhancing the yield of their crops, the institution is educating them on the use of molecular breeding and genomics. ICRISAT is using screen markers in the lab to identify the tolerant varieties and is keen on supplying tools to breeders instead of selection on the field.

ICRISAT principal scientist in-charge of Centre of Excellence in Genomics Rajeev Varshney said using markers would help in reducing the breeding cycle significantly.