Pearl millet is a nutritionally superior cereal. It has the highest folic acid content among cereals; lowers heart disease and cancer risks; and is recommended also for pregnant women. We should enhance consumption of pearl millet through a strong advocacy campaign for smart foods, said ICRISAT Director General Dr William Dar during his keynote address at the Pearl Millet Scientists Field Day held at ICRISAT global headquarters in India.

Delivering the address, Dr Dar dwelt on the history of ICRISAT’s Hybrid Parents Research Consortium (HPRC) and chronicled its growth into a productive platform with currently 60 active members. He stated that its outcomes have been significant grain yield improvement and production stability of pearl millet crop in India.

“Public-private partnership is the way forward for successful translation of technologies for the benefit of small-holder farmers,” said Dr Dar.

In his message, Dr CLL Gowda, Deputy Director General-Research, emphasized on the need to strengthen research on biofortification, herbicide tolerance, and also guided the group to work on new plant types amenable to mechanized harvesting to enhance the scope of crop in future.

The Field Day, held on 30 September and 1 October, was attended by 31 participants from the public sector and 38 from the private sector (including two scientists from Adriana Seed Company, Brazil) who are members of the Pearl Millet Hybrid Parents Research Consortium (PMHPRC).

Source: ICRISAT Happenings