Breeding Biofortified Pearl Millet Cultivars Unlock Millet Markets for Nutrition

Govindaraj, M and Kanatti, A and Rai, K N (2018) Breeding Biofortified Pearl Millet Cultivars Unlock Millet Markets for Nutrition. In: Proceedings of 3rd International Millet Symposium (3rd International Symposium on Broomcorn Millet), August 8-12, 2018, Marriot Inn, Fort Collins, CO, USA.

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Pearl millet is an important food crop in the arid and semi-arid tropical regions o f Afri ca and Asia. These regions are home to millions of poor smallholder's households living in harsh agro ecology and reported higher prevalence of malnutrition. Such poor households have few options in terms of food crops, besides the limited markets. Indeed, pearl millet is one of the food crops they continue to grow for their food and nutritional security. Pearl millet is important sources of dietary carbohydrates, energy, protein, and important minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc. Conside ring inherent high nutritional values and climate resilient nature (drought and heat), demand for pearl millet as food, beside valued for its Stover as a source of livestock fodder, is projected to g row strongly in Asia (India) and Africa (West and Central Afri ca). Iron (cause anemia) and zinc (cause stunting) deficiencies are widespread and serious publ ic heal th problems worldwide, including Lndia and Africa. Biofortification is a cost-effective and su stainable agricultural strategy to address this problem. Research on pearl millet has shown that large genetic variability (30-140 mg!kg Fe and 20-90 mg! kg Zn) ava ilable in this crop ca n be effectively utilized to develop high-yield in g cul tiva rs with high iron and zinc densities. Both Open - pollinated varieties (Dhanshakti and Chakti ) and hybrids (ICMH 1202, ICMH 1203 and ICMH 1301) of pea rl millet with high grain yield (>3.5 tons/ha in hybrids) and high levels of iron (70-75 mg/kg) and zinc (35-40 mg/kg) densities have been developed and released. Currently, India growing >70,000 ha of biofortified pearl millet, besides more pipeline hybrids and varieties are under various stage of testing at the national (India) and international (west Africa) trials for possible release. Genomic tools will be an integral part of breeding program particularly for nutritional traits to use diagnostic markers and genomic selection. Clinical studies showed that 200g grains from biofortified culti var would provide bioavailable Fe to meet full recommended daily allowance (RDA) in children, adult men and 80% of the RDA in women. Till today, no markets to promote biofortified cultivars/grains/products as no incentive price and such products aims to address food and nutri tional securi ty challenges simultaneously. The demand is likely to increase only after investment and integration into modern public d istribution system, nutritional intervention schemes, private seed and food companies with strong mainstreaming nutritional policies. In the non-traditional regions, this will contribute to livestock and poultry feed industry as spill-over benefi ts to improve nutrition.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: Research Program : Asia
Uncontrolled Keywords: Broomcorn Millet, Millets, Pearl Millet, Biofortification
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets > Pearl Millet
Others > Biofortification
Others > Food and Nutrition
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2018 08:42
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2019 07:53
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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