Desalegn Serba Kebede Muleta
Kansas State University - Western Kansas Agricultural Research Center in Hays
Burkina Faso - Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricole (INERA)
Mali - Institut d'Economie Rurale (IER)
Niger - International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN)
Senegal - Centre d’Etudes Régional pour l’Amélioration de l’Adaptation à la Sécheresse (CERAAS), Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA), Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA)
Pearl millet is a warm-season annual cereal crop grown for food in the hottest and driest tropical regions of Africa and Asia. It is the most drought tolerant of all domesticated cereals and a staple food crop for about 90 million people across the Sahel of Africa and fringes of the Thar desert in India, where severe abiotic stress limits the growth of other crops. It is grown where no other cereal will yield grain or is likely to fail due to heat, drought, and poor soil fertility. Pearl millet is also grown in the United States in limited areas as a forage and cover crop. It has also a high potential to be a commercial grain crop in drought-prone areas due to its water and nutrient use efficiency. The grain is nutritious, has higher protein and energy levels than corn or sorghum, and has been evaluated positively in feed rations of chickens and steers. The productivity of pearl millet is still challenging in drought-prone areas.
The main goal of the pearl millet breeding program at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center in Hays, Kansas is to develop parental lines for producing hybrids for grain and forage use. The research project focuses on harnessing genetic variability and the development of parental lines for new hybrids with high genetic yield potential, yield stability, improved drought and high-temperature tolerance, disease resistance, and enhanced nutritional quality especially micronutrient density of the grain. This project addresses the production constraints in the drought-prone areas of western Kansas and in major producing West African countries: Senegal, Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso.
This project and research was funded by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet, known as the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab (SMIL). This lab is funded by USAID and managed at Kansas State University.
Burkina Faso - Ouahigouya, Ougadougou
Mali - Segou, Koutiala
Niger - Aguié, Kollo, Boboye
Senegal - Bambey, Nioro du Rip
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN)
Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles du Senegal (ISRA)