Pearl Millet Crop Management and Seed Production Manual

Khairwal, I S and Rai, K N and Diwakar, B and Sharma, Y K and Rajpurohit, B S and Nirwan, B and Bhattacharjee, R (2007) Pearl Millet Crop Management and Seed Production Manual. Manual. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics , Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, India.

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Pearl millet is a major warm season coarse grain cereal grown on 26 million ha in some of the harshest semi-arid tropical environments of Asia and Africa. India has the largest area (9–10 million ha) under this crop, ranking it third along with sorghum. It is cultivated in the most sandy, infertile soils and droughty environments (eg, arid Rajasthan) where no other cereal crop can survive. Even under these conditions, pearl millet yields 300–400 kg ha-1 of grain. Pearl millet hybrids maturing in 80–85 days, when cultivated as an irrigated summer season crop in parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh states of India, have been reported to give as high as 4000–5000 kg ha-1 of grain yield. Pearl millet grains have high protein content, balanced amino acid profile, and high levels of iron, zinc, and insoluble dietary fiber. Eggs produced from layers fed on a diet of pearl millet have much lower levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol) than those fed on a maize-based diet. These adaptive and nutritional features combined with high yield potential make pearl millet an important cereal crop that can effectively address the emerging challenges of global warming, water shortages, land degradation and food-related health issues. Farmers cultivating pearl millet continue to be plagued by uncertain and low economic returns when production falls and also when production increases (due to low prices). This serves as a deterrent for farmers to invest in improved crop management, although the latter can play an effective dual role in increasing productivity and enhancing production stability. The demand for pearl millet grain is likely to increase with its increasing use as poultry and animal feed. This demand can further increase if pearl millet enters the commercial convenience foods channel, thereby increasing grain price. In turn, this will lead to greater investment in crop management and consequently productivity enhancement. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and National Agricultural Research System (NARS) in India have played a pioneering role in developing a diverse range of improved breeding lines and parental lines of potential hybrids. These lines have been used extensively by breeding programs in both the public and private sectors to develop and commercialize a large number of hybrids (more than 70 were under cultivation in 2006). These hybrids are cultivated on 50% of the total pearl millet area, leading to 65% increase in grain yield during the past 20 years. Since its inception in 1974, the All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project (AICPMIP) has developed production-protection technologies specific to agro-ecoregions of different states. Their application holds the promise of further enhancing the productivity of improved cultivars to commercial farming scales, and hence increasing the profitability of their cultivation, similar to the one witnessed in the seed production sector. This lucid and comprehensive manual on pearl millet crop management and seed production by AICPMIP and ICRISAT scientists delves into pearl millet biology, its distribution and climatic requirements; and various aspects of crop management and seed production. Though written primarily in the context of agriculture in India, its contents have a wider application for students, teaching and training personnel, extension workers and farmers interested in development, crop management and seed production and marketing of pearl millet.

Item Type: Monograph (Manual)
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets
Depositing User: Mr Sanat Kumar Behera
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2011 12:48
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2011 12:48
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