Pearl millet is a main staple cereal crop in the sahelian and soudanian zones of West Africa. Pearl millet-based production systems in these areas include livestock production, but with the increasing human pressures on land, livestock fodder resources have become increasingly limited. More needs to be done to improve crop-livestock integration in these production systems to enhance animal nutrition and performance while maintaining human food and nutritional security, and thereby maximizing the overall profits for farmers and agro-pastoralists.
Dual-purpose pearl millet varieties selected for grain and stover yield and nutritional quality in order to serve both human food and animal fodder is a key innovation to enable agro-ecological intensification of the pearl millet-based production systems via better crop-livestock integration, food and nutritional security of humans and animals, and value chain development for pearl millet stover and concomitant income generation opportunities for smallholder pearl millet farming families and agro-pastoralists in the West African region.
Ousmane Sy Roger Zangré
Ahmad Issaka Mahamadi Ouedraogo
Moussa Sanogo Desalegn Serba
Kansas State University
Burkina Faso - Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA), Université de Ouagadougou
Mali - Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER), Université Privée d'Agriculture Agri'SUP Ségou
Niger - International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN), Université Dan Dicko Dankoulodo de Maradi (UDDM)
Senegal - Centre d’Etudes Régional pour l’Amélioration de l’Adaptation à la Sécheresse (CERAAS), Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA)
Burkina Faso - Ouahigouya, Ougadougou
Mali - Koutiala, Ségou
Niger - Aguié, Boboye, Kollo
Senegal - Bambey, Nioro du Rip
This project meets the challenges of both human and animal malnutrition by setting the foundation and developing a strategy for farmer-participatory breeding of highly nutritious, dual-purpose pearl millet varieties in the target countries Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. The development and cultivation of dual-purpose pearl millet varieties with enhanced grain nutritional quality and stover digestibility contributes to better crop-livestock integration and improved incomes and even nutritional security of smallholder farming families, as called for by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The project has gathered and characterized at least 100 accessions of germplasm from the countries involved and other millet breeding programs to determine the genetic diversity for stover quality and digestibility traits, grain mineral content, grain and stover yield performance. Teh project assesses relationships between stover nutritional quality and digestibility and agro-morphological traits, as well as grain micronutrient contents to understand potential trade-offs in selection of nutritious dual-purpose pearl millet cultivars, validate superior germplasm accessions in a participatory manner with women and men farmers in large-scale on-farm trials in the target regions, and identify farmer-preferred accessions for use in future dual-purpose pearl millet breeding programs.
The genetic material has multiplied to make seed available for farm multi-location trials and complementary grain chemical analyses. At least five superior dual-purpose varieties with good yield and good quality for grain and stover/fodder have bee selected by country and seed multiplication system involving breeder-foundation and certified seed, and put in place to make seed available to the users (farmers, agopastoralists and others). Capacity building includes stakeholders training on quality seed production techniques, identification of diseases, insects, parasitic weeds and other biotic millet production constraints.
Pearl millet varieties, landraces and accessions were evaluated in two locations in each of the four countries. In Senegal, the results showed that the highest grain yielding variety in Sahelian zone is SL214 (2,768kg/ha). It is followed by SL442 (2,691kg/ha) and Thialack2 (2,625kg/ha). For stover production, the best variety is SL106 with 6,585kg/ha, followed by SL214 with 6,330kg/ha. For the grain analysis, the richest variety for iron is NK Moro from Niger. There were also SL69, SL56 from Senegal; IBMV 8402 et PE01203xPE05980R3 that showed a high level of iron content. For fodder analyses, the highest ADF content belongs to SL214 with 50.55. This variety has also a medium NDF level of 74.72 and a good protein content rate 3.48 mg/kg. This variety is followed by PE08030 from Burkina Faso with 50.25 as ADF, 76.10 as NDF and 3.75 mg/kg as protein content. After these two elite varieties, Thialack2 is with 49.51 as ADF, 73.63 as NDF and 5.86 mg/kg as protein content.
Regarding the specific objective of assessing relationships between stover nutritional quality and digestibility and other agro-morphological traits, the grain quality of the different accessions were sent to Niger at ICRISAT Sahelian Center for iron and zinc content. The results assisted in the selection of the 15 best entrees for each agroecological zone. Fodder samples were sent to Kansas State University as well as the Université de Thies for analyses of ADF, NDF and protein content.
The objective of identifying three to five farmer-preferred accessions for future promotion and use in pearl millet dual-purpose variety development has been successful. Fifteen entrees were tested and selected with participatory breeding system to identify three to five good varieties for certification and cultivation at an on-farm field level in each agro-ecological zone. The farmers have a panel of diversified varieties where the most adapted one, according to the agro-climatic conditions, can be selected.
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN)
Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles du Senegal (ISRA)