Podcast: ICARDA’s Dr. Priyanka Gupta talks about grass pea

Published Date
July 06, 2021
Published by
ICARDA Communication Team

ICARDA’s work on grasspea is made possible through the partnership of national partners and with funding from Crop Trust, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Government of India and Templeton World Charity Foundation.

ICARDA’s Plant Breeder and legume consultant Dr. Priyanka Gupta features on the popular podcast series Grounded by the Farm, a website, podcast, and social media presence that informs audiences of the inner workings of the agricultural world.

Dr. Priyanka works within ICARDA’s Breeding team developing improved varieties of grasspea, a versatile crop that can withstand extreme heat, drought, and is a good source of protein. Perfect for the dry regions in which ICARDA works, except for one minor drawback – eating large amounts of grasspea over time can cause paralysis of the lower part of your body due to a naturally occurring plant toxin called ODAP!

But ICARDA’s illustrious plant breeders have now solved the puzzle by making this hardy and highly adaptable pulse safe to eat, by developing improved varieties with near zero ODAP. With the support of its partners, ICARDA has successfully developed low toxin grasspea varieties adopted in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and India.  There is now large-scale adoption of grasspea in South Asia and Ethiopia for safe consumption, ensuring food security and improved livelihoods for family farmers. 

Listen to Dr. Gupta explaining more on the Grounded by the Farm podcast



To spread the awareness for this forgotten but valuable crop, ICARDA in collaboration with Crop Trust and the James Hutton Institute has also launched a website @grasspea.net to provide a platform for grasspea researchers, breeders and those interested in this incredible crop. Get involved and help develop community resources!