ICRISAT Develops Climate-Resilient Pearl Millet Hybrids

8 June 2011: The International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has boosted the production of pearl millet yield through three phases of hybrid development, thereby contributing to improved food and nutritional security of the rural poor.

ICRISAT has estimated that the increase in production has resulted in US$395 million/year for Indian farmers growing improved pearl millet on over six million hectares in India. Improvements at ICRISAT have also sought to increase the levels of iron and zinc, as well as overcoming susceptibility to downy mildew epidemics. Based in part on the ICRISAT breeding programme with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), pearl millet has recorded the highest percent increase in grain yield among all food crops in India over the last 15 years. ICRISAT's strategy is to develop crop varieties that can overcome the adversities of climate change, and thereby reinforce the food and income security of the poor, particularly in the dryland tropics. ICRISAT is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [ICRISAT Press Release]