Twenty-five Years of Pearl Millet Improvement in India

Yadav, O P and Rai, K N and Rajpurohit, B S and Hash, C T and Mahala, R S and Gupta, S K and Shetty, H S and Bishnoi, H R and Rathore, M S and Kumar, A and Sehgal, S and Raghvani, K L (2012) Twenty-five Years of Pearl Millet Improvement in India. Documentation. ICAR, Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

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Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L). R. Br.) is grown on more than 9 million ha in India, ranking third after rice and wheat in acreage. It is primarily grown for food and dry fodder, though a significant portion of pearl millet grain is also used for non-food purposes such as poultry and cattle feed and alcohol extraction. Pearl millet improvement research in India is carried out through the All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project (AICPMIP) administered by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). AICPMIP is one of 61 coordinated projects working under the aegis of ICAR. Enormous accomplishments have been made in pearl millet improvement during the last 25 years. This book presents an overview of achievements in genetic improvement, cultural practices, disease and insect-pest management, seed production and value addition. Genetically diverse germplasm and breeding materials with adequate disease resistance have been strategically utilized in the breeding of hybrid parental lines resulting in development of hybrids with good adaptation to diverse production environments. High productivity combined with appropriate maturity duration (mostly 75-85 days) as per the agro-ecological requirements, and downy mildew resistance have been given the highest priority in the cultivar development programme using both conventional and molecular breeding techniques. A total of 115 improved cultivars were released during the last 25 years, which provided a wider cultivar choice to farmers in various agroecological regions. Agronomic research conducted in AICPMIP included both research station experiments and on-farm extension trials that led to the establishment of detailed recommendations for individual pearl millet growing zone with respect to time of sowing, seed rate, weed management, fertilizer application (including bio-fertilization), cropping systems and moisture conservation. Proper agronomic recommendations made it possible to harness the yield potential of high-yielding hybrids and varieties. High-yielding hybrids and open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) have been widely adopted by Indian farmers. Currently, nearly 65% of pearl millet area is under improved cultivars, mainly hybrids. Following the adoption of high-yielding and disease resistant cultivars, pearl millet productivity has gone up from 539 kg/ha during 1986-90 to 932 kg/ha during 2006-10 registering a 73% improvement, which is highest among all food crops. The rate of improvement in pearl millet productivity during 1986-2010 has been 20 kg/ha/year as compared to 6.3 kg/ha/year during 1960-85. This extent of improvement in pearl millet productivity has resulted in more than 45% improvement in its grain production, from 5.83 million tons during 1986-90 to 8.48 million tons during 2006-10. A genetic linkage map of pearl millet has been developed and quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been identified for traits of economic importance to facilitate molecular marker-assisted selection. Several processing technologies have been fine-tuned to enhance shelf life of pearl millet-based traditional and health-food products. In the climate-change scenario, pearl millet is likely to play a greater role in the future in providing food and nutritional security.

Item Type: Monograph (Documentation)
Uncontrolled Keywords: pearl millet, genetic improvement, crop improvement, genetic diversification, breeding methods, molecular breeding, seed production, supply chain, disease management, insect pest management, crop management, India
Subjects: Others > Crop Improvement
Others > Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Others > Molecular Biology
Mandate crops > Millets
Mandate crops > Millets > Pearl Millet
Others > Pest Management
Others > Agricultural Research
Others > Drylands Agriculture
Others > Genetics and Genomics
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2018 08:29
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2018 08:29
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