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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet

Development of dual-purpose pearl millet varieties for the benefit of farmers and agro-pastoralists in the Sahelian and Sudanian zones of West Africa

Lead institution: Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA)
Award amount: $495,000
Focus countries: Senegal, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali

Pearl Millet Field

Principal investigator: Roger Zangré (Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles
U.S. collaborating institution: Kansas State University
International collaborating institutions:
Burkina Faso - Institut de l'Environnement et des Recherches Agricoles (INERA), Mali - Institut d'Economie Rurale (IER), Senegal - Centre d’étude régional pour l’amélioration de l’adaptation à la sécheresse (CERAAS), Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA), Niger - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du (INRAN), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

This project aims to tackle the challenges of both human and animal malnutrition by setting the foundation and developing a strategy for farmer-participatory breeding of highly nutritious, dual-purpose pearl millet varieties in the target countries Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. The development and cultivation of dual-purpose pearl millet varieties with enhanced grain nutritional quality and stover digestibility is expected to contribute to better crop-livestock integration and improved incomes and even nutritional security of smallholder farming families, as called for by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The project will gather and characterize at least 100 accessions of germplasm from the countries involved and other millet breeding programs to determine the genetic diversity for stover quality and digestibility traits, grain mineral content, grain and stover yield performance. It will also assess relationships between stover nutritional quality and digestibility and agro-morphological traits, as well as grain micronutrient contents, to understand potential trade-offs in selection of nutritious dual-purpose pearl millet cultivars, validate superior germplasm accessions in a participatory manner with women and men farmers in large-scale on-farm trials in the target regions, and identify farmer-preferred accessions for use in future dual-purpose pearl millet breeding programs.

The genetic material will be multiplied to make seed available for farm multi-location trials and complementary grain chemical analyses. At least five superior dual-purpose varieties with good yield and good quality for grain and stover/fodder will finally be selected by country and seed multiplication system involving breeder-foundation and certified seed, will be put in place to make seed available to the users (farmers, agopastoralists and others). Capacity building will include stakeholders training on quality seed production techniques, identification of diseases, insects, parasitic weeds and other biotic millet production constraints.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Roger ZangreDr. Roger Zangré,
01 BP 476 Ouagadougou 01
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
+226 50 31 92 02/ 20 31 08
gr_zangre@yahoo.fr