Target Countries


Ethiopia has a unique and ancient heritage and is considered by some to be one of the world’s oldest countries. Its enormous and rich agro ecologies supported a birthplace and evolution of thousands of landrace sorghum lines. This has provided the source of modern global sorghum plant breeding across the globe. Ethiopia is considered the center of origin and diversity of sorghum.


What started as a project focused on genomics-assisted sorghum breeding has evolved into a larger project in Haiti, focused on durable adaptation to sugarcane aphid and drought for smallholder sorghum breeders. The project in Haiti aims to develop genomic approaches from within a National Agricultural Research System (NARS) breeding program to reduce barriers for adoption.


Niger was historically positioned along the trading crossroads of multi-ancient empires and is now a part of the larger West African community and Sahelian agro ecology climate zone. Niger is one center of genetic origin of pearl millet and many traditional food dishes are based on pearl millet as a nutritious, ancient grain. Pearl millet has adapted in the harsh Sahelian climates to become one of the most heat- and drought-tolerant cereal crops in the world.


Senegal is located on the western coast of Africa and is a vibrant commercial, tourism and cultural hub for West Africa. Pearl millet and sorghum are key staple crops in rural communities and there is a demand for food products based on these ancient grains on the modern food tables of the capital Dakar and other urban centers. Senegal hosts the regional Center of Excellence for Research on adaptation to drought and heat stress for dryland cereals and legumes.

Parasitoid Wasps for Millet head miner control

Parasitoid wasps are naturally occurring predatory (non-stinging) wasps that can be reared at the household level and strategically deployed against the millet head miner pest to protect fields of millet, allowing for up to a 34% yield gain. Parasitoid wasps (Habrobracon hebetor) are reared in small jute bags with a mixture of millet and cowpea, allowing offspring to emerge from these rearing bags and disperse to millet fields to control millet head miner insects. A set of 15 bags yield an inoculate population of circa 1,000 parasitoids and successive generations will disperse. This provides coverage of up to 3 square kilometers and provides up to 34% yield gain, compared to unprotected fields of pearl millet.



A white sorghum hybrid ESH 5 officially registered with up to 15% yield gain (5.76 t/ha yield performance) for use in lowland-growing areas of Ethiopia with good injera-making properties.



CROP: Sorghum & Pearl Millet

Dr. Cheikh Ndiaye
Dakar, Senegal
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Moustapha Moussa
Niamey, Niger
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Bruce Hamaker
Purdue University
Email: [email protected]

Food product recipes, processing techniques, and training to allow women entrepreneurs to produce and market easy-to-prepare traditional food products for the modern food table. Building greater demand for locally produced grains to provide more reliable income for West African smallholder farmers and creation of entrepreneurial opportunities and networks for women and youth.