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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Newly developed high biomass sorghum. Photo: B Veera Shetty, ICRISAT

Newly developed high biomass sorghum and pearl millet a boon to 2G biofuel production in India

The advantages of newly developed high biomass sorghum and pearl millet developed by ICRISAT and Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) for use as feedstock in second generation or lignocellulosic (2G) biofuel production in India was highlighted at a recent workshop. India is a signatory to the UN Climate Change Paris Agreement (COP21) and biofuel production is one of the thrust areas identified to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The country’s ethanol production is mainly from sugarcane molasses. However, considering severe…

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millet curtain raiser

First curtain raiser to popularize millets

About 50 media representatives and bloggers engaged with industry experts and state government officials concluding that while the value of millets is high, awareness is low and modern ways to use them are yet to be fully discovered. This was the first curtain raiser event to develop a campaign to popularize millets with new products ranging from millet ice cream to millet pasta and muffins on the menu and the agenda. The campaign is an initiative of the Karnataka Government…

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Dr Maureen Cheserek, Nutritionist, Egerton University, addressing mothers at Elgeyo Marakwet. Photo: ICRISAT

Smart Food nutrition activities kick off in Kenya

To improve the nutritional status of women in the reproductive age and children below five years, an awareness drive under the Smart Food campaign has been launched in selected counties in Kenya. The aim is to promote increased consumption of nutrient dense, drought tolerant crops (sorghum, millets, pigeonpea, groundnut, cowpea and green gram) and appropriate dietary practices in the project areas using social behavior change communication approaches. The Smart Food team in Kenya will support the initiative, by disseminating nutrition…

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svcdc discussion-dc

Strengthening value chain for drought tolerant crops in Kenya

The need for effective branding and marketing of drought tolerant crops is critical in order to change consumer perceptions and attitudes was highlighted at a roundtable discussion on issues affecting marketing and value addition of drought tolerant crops. Dr Moses Siambi, Director – Eastern & Southern Africa, ICRISAT-Kenya, during his presentation on the ICRISAT Smart Food campaign said, “Drought tolerant crops including sorghum, millets, pigeonpea and groundnut are smart crops because of the high nutritional value, high resilience under extreme…

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Kenyan farmers urged to adopt climate-smart food production strategies

Various crop production technologies to meet climate change challenges were demonstrated to 200 farmers and several to agricultural officers at a recently held fair to celebrate World Food Day. A message from Dr José Graziano da Silva, Director General FAO, urged farmers to change their food production strategies in view of extreme weather events due to changing climate. The message was read out by Ms Philigona A Ooko, Minister for Agriculture, Siaya County Government, Kenya. The view was reiterated by…

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Sorghum – a favorable alternative to maize in poultry feed in Nigeria

The performance of broiler chicken fed on 100% sorghum as a substitute to maize was highlighted during a field day in Nigeria where farmers, millers, researchers, public servants and decision makers participated. These claims were the results of feed trials on the use of sorghum in feed formulation for broiler birds, proving the suitability of sorghum in poultry feed. The trials were conducted by the Centre for Dryland Agriculture, Bayero University, Kano, through the sorghum value chain of Agricultural Transformation…

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Changing the perception of millets – strategizing for promoting Smart Foods

Strategies to capitalize on existing networks and initiatives, and brainstorming ‘game changers’ to alter the image of millets was the main focus of discussion at the recently held Smart Foods workshop. The overall aim was to develop approaches to bring more attention to Smart Foods – foods like millets that are highly nutritious as well as being good for the environment and important for overcoming food insecurity. Research for development (R4D) funding for millets is extremely low compared to other…

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Use of sorghum in bakery and as bio-charcoal

 A training of trainers by ICRISAT for rural women in Nigeria Women farmers in Kano, Nigeria, are being trained on benefiting from technologies for enhancing the sorghum value chain. The training of trainers workshop primarily focused on the use of sorghum in making bakery products like cakes, biscuits and bread; and producing bio-charcoal. The benefits of sorghum, food safety practices, hygiene, sanitation, and entrepreneurship were explained to the participants at the event. The training aimed to build the capacity of…

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Spread the word on smart foods

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…

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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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