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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


Biological control of the millet head miner in Niger and Senegal

Lead institution: ICRISAT - Niger
Award amount: $638,788
Focus countries: Niger, Senegal

Millet Head Miner larvae on millet head

Principal investigator: Dr. Malick Ba
U.S. collaborating institutions: Virginia Tech University, IPM Innovation Lab
International collaborating institutions: Senegal - ISRA, CERAAS, University Cheik Anta Diop de Dakar; Niger - University of Maradi, INRAN

The Millet Head Miner (MHM) is a major chronic insect pest of millet in the Sahel. This project will serve to develop technologies for controlling the MHM, with intentions to significantly decrease the devastating losses that it can inflict (often ranging from 40-85 percent) on millet yields. Improved management of this key pest will result in increased pearl millet productivity and greater income and food security among millet farmers.

The proposed project includes three primary components:

  1. Biological control of the MHM with releases of larval parasitoids to significantly increase ongoing mass rearing of the larval parasitoid Habrabracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Branconidae) and fine-tune release techniques for improved control of the MHM.
  2. Test the Trichogrammatoidae egg parasitoid as bio control agents of the MHM.
  3. Establishing parasitoid cottage industry for rearing and commercialization of parasitoids in the Sahel with particular attention to having those businesses owned and operated by individuals or groups of women.

The project will train one M.S. and two Ph.D. students at Virginia Tech as well as the Univeristy Cheick Anta Diop in Senegal. Farmers will be trained on biological control of the millet head miner and links will be made with a McKnight-funded project in Burkina Faso, Mal and Niger, a West-Africa Agricultural Productivity Program-funded project in Senegal and the CGIAR research program on Dryland Cereals to scale up the technologies in all Sahelian countries. Outcomes of this project will include a reduction in pearl millet grain losses, an increase in food production and security among Nigerien and Senegalese millet farmers, as well as the establishment of a cottage industry to rear and sell natural enemies, which will provide revenue to farmers and women's cooperatives.

Project details

For more information about the project, contact:

Malick BaDr. Malick Ba, Senior Scientist
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
Kouara Kano, Niamey, Niger BP12404