Mungbean, urdbean, lentil, lathyrus, rajmash and fieldpea together accounts for about 37 % of total pulses production in India. Therefore, these crops assumed greater significance in Indian Agriculture. To give impetus for research on these crops in a coordinated manner at national level, the All India Coordinated Research Project on MULLaRP was established under auspice of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The abbreviation MULLaRP derives from first letter of each mandated crops i.e. Mungbean, Urdbean, Lentil, Lathyrus, Rajmash and Fieldpea.
The coordinated research programme on MULLaRP crops along with other pulses started with the establishment of All India Coordinated Pulse Improvement Project (AICPIP) in the year 1966 at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. Later in 1978, the headquarter of AICPIP was shifted to the then Regional station of IARI at Kanpur. To provide focused attention on each crop, MULLaRP crops were separated from rest of the pulses under independent coordinated project AICRP on MULLaRP in 1993.
The AICRP on MULLaRP has played a pioneering role in developing more than 60 high yielding and disease resistant cultivars of mandated crops since 1993. Many of these have become popular among farmers and occupied prominence in seed chain. Every year about 3000 q of breeder seeds of these cultivars are being produced by its cooperating centres. The cultivar development programme paid dividend as the crops have been introduced in newer niches such as mungbean in summer season after the harvest of wheat and potato in northern India, urdbean in rice fallow situation of coastal peninsula and rajmash in plains of north and central India during rabi season. Sincere efforts were also made for broadening the genetic base of cultivars by attempting wide hybridization among mungbean and urdbean which resulted into development of five cultivars of mungbean and four of urdbean. With the use of exotics, large seeded lentils were also developed which is reducing the import of large seeded lentils. The short duration dwarf varieties of fieldpea were developed which are being preferred by farmers as these are high yielding, input responsive and suitable for prevalent cropping systems. Efforts were also made in recommending good agronomic practices like use of pre and post - emergence herbicides for effective weed control, development of planting techniques, application of micronutrients for optimizing production and seed treatment for control of soil and seed borne diseases.
AICRP on MULLaRP achieves the above with about 103 specialized research staff from 26 centres situated in different agro climatic zones of the country e.g. NHZ (North Hill Zone), NWPZ (North West Plain Zones), NEPZ (North East Plain Zones), CZ (Central Zone) and SZ (South Zone). These researchers are placed in different centres of SAUs and institutes of ICAR where they work under mandate of the project in partnership through a large network. Besides, 8-10 volunteer centres like BARC also form the part of this network.
Mungbean (Green gram) (Vigna radiata L. Wilczek)