Barley India ILRI

Dual purpose barley eases livelihoods in Himalayas

In the Himalayan mountains of India, feeding livestock during the cold months of winter is a major challenge for rural communities. Typically, village women collect green fodder from surrounding forests to feed their animals. But in peak winter months, there is not much greenery to be found. Scientists have found a solution to promote green fodder production in the lean months of December and January through a ‘dual-purpose’ barley variety. The innovation in barley allows two harvests for one crop…

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Pearl Millet

Farmer preferred improved varieties demonstrated in Niger

Open pollinated improved varieties of pearl millet, sorghum and cowpea were demonstrated to farmers in the Tillabéri region of Niger during the rainy season of 2016. These new varieties had improved grain yield and early maturity. All improved varieties were compared to farmers’ local check with at least two objectives: (i) to introduce new varieties to young men and women farmers and expose them to the benefits of improved varieties over local land race varieties, and (ii) to identify preferences…

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Barley is a major crop across the Highlands of Ethiopia, where it is grown by approximately 4.1 million smallholder farmers on close to one million hectares.

Improved malt barley: new income potential for Ethiopian farmers

A new high-yielding, pest-resistant variety of malt barley has the potential to revolutionize Ethiopia’s barley sector, helping to meet growing domestic demand, boost export earnings, and substantially raise farmer incomes. Barley is a major crop across the Highlands of Ethiopia, where it is grown by approximately 4.1 million smallholder farmers on close to one million hectares (ha). The country is one of the major producers of barley in Sub-Saharan Africa, and has a growing malt beverage sector. Yet, despite a…

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Pearl millet-crop thumbnail

Need for developing blast-resistant pearl millet in India emphasized

The need for breeding blast-resistant pearl millet varieties was strongly voiced by breeders from seed companies, who attended a field day held at ICRISAT headquarters recently. Pearl millet blast, caused by Pyricularia grisea, has emerged as a serious disease of pearl millet hybrids in India in the past 7-8 years. Host plant resistance is the most economical and viable disease management strategy to control the disease. However, resistance in the commercial hybrids being grown in India is not available as no…

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Biofortified pearl millet varieties to fight iron and zinc deficiencies in India

By Dr Kedar N Rai This blog was first featured in ICRISAT Agri-buzz Micronutrient malnutrition because of iron and zinc deficiencies is a serious public health problem in low-and middle-economy countries worldwide.  In India alone, about 80% of the pregnant women, 52% of non-pregnant women, and 74% of children in the 6-35 months age group suffer from iron deficiency.  About 52% of children below 5 year are zinc deficient. Iron deficiency causes varying degrees of impairment in cognitive performance, and…

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Pearl Millet

High-iron pearl millet varieties identified for fast track improvement in Africa

Pearl millet varieties GB 8735 and ICTP 8203 have been selected for fast track improvement and release in Niger, Ghana and Senegal. The selected varieties along with local controls are being tested on-farm at more than 30 locations across five countries. This is part of an initiative for biofortification of pearl millet and sorghum. Other key achievements of the initiative include: Creating a database on commercialized open pollinated varieties of pearl millet for Fe (iron) and Zn (zinc) density over…

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Launch meeting of CINTRIN in Cambridge, attended by all partners of consortium. Photo: ICRISAT

New partnership to optimize use of nitrogen in cereal crops

A team of researchers from India and the United Kingdom (UK) have come together to develop new cereal crop varieties, that use nitrogen efficiently, which in turn, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make farming more profitable and sustainable. The partnership will explore natural variations of cereals and basic research in model plants to deliver new varieties of cereals with enhanced nitrogen use efficiency. With funding of £10 million (GBP) (US$13,084,500) through the Newton Bhabha Fund, UK; Biotechnology and Biological…

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Barley varieties with higher antioxidant potential identified

Barley is one of the oldest cultivated cereals and is well known for its health benefits and medicinal value. Barley and malt are now gaining renewed interests as ingredients for the production of functional foods owing to their concentration of soluble fiber, β-glucan and bioactive compounds. Many of these bioactive compounds have high antioxidant activity. Barley varieties with higher antioxidant activity are beneficial as food for human consumption. The Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR), Karnal, India in…

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Women farmer with sweet sorghum, India

Sweet sorghum complementing ethanol production in sugar mills

To help the government achieve the national ethanol blending targets of 20% by 2017, private sugar mills and the public sector research institutes are collaborating with ICRISAT to identify and test sweet sorghum varieties suitable for ethanol production. Under the framework of CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals, a total of seven sugar mills are associated with ICRISAT in this 3-year project. At the first Annual Review cum Work Planning meeting many sweet sorghum hybrids were identified as suitable for…

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New malt barley varieties perk up farmers and malting industry in Ethiopia

Two new malt barley varieties with the potential to triple average yield in Ethiopia have been released in May 2016 by the Holetta Agricultural Research Center as a result of decades of research collaboration with ICARDA. The two varieties, HB1963 and HB 1964, can yield up to 6 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) as opposed to the average yield of 2 t/ha in Ethiopia. The varieties also offer excellent malting quality, making them attractive buys for the malting and brewery industry,…

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The CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals (Dryland Cereals) is a partnership between two members of the CGIAR Consortium – ICRISAT (lead center), and ICARDA, along with a number of public and private institutes and organizations, governments, and farmers globally.
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