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

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Feed the Future

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Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab

Kansas State University
148 Waters Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506


Seedballs - Enhancing the yield effect in pearl millet and sorghum and disseminating the technology in West Africa

Lead institution: University of Hohenheim - Germany
Award amount: $526,314
Focus countries: Niger
Seed ball fabrication

Principal investigator: Ludger Herrmann
International collaborating institutions: Niger - INRAN, Fuma Gaskiya (farmer organization), FUGPN Mooriben (farmer organization)

Pearl millet farmers in Senegal and Niger face many challenges related to crop production, one of which is seeding survival.  Technologies that enhance seedling survival in the Sahel present the potential of an important contribution to reduce overall cropping risks in the region, thereby enhancing pearl millet productivity and yield stability. 

The project builds on the previous activities in phase I to pursue the seed ball technology as a valid option to reduce cropping risks and improve farmers’ yields - particularly for female farmers - by using low-cost resources that are readily available. The team wishes to further research, develop and disseminate the seedball technology in Niger. The research component addresses application to sorghum and combination with other yield enhancing innovations (e.g. fertilizer-micro-dosing). The development aspect is dedicated to mechanization. Dissemination is based on collaboration with farmer federations (Fuma Gaskiya, Moorigen) in Niger. The latter is accompanied by a research component that surveys adoption pre-requisites and constraints.

For more information about the project, contact:

Dr. Ludger Herrmann
University of Hohenheim
Institute of Soil Science and Land Evaluation, Soil Chemistry and Pedology (310a)
70593 Stuttgart, Germany
+49 0711 459-22324