Boosting research activities on pearl millet in South Asia
Forty scientists from ICRISAT and partner State Agriculture Universities (SAUs), and representatives of the private sector reviewed the progress of the Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement (HOPE) Project Phase-I (2009-2013), and devised work plans for the on-going Supplemental Phase (2014-2015) on 23 May at the ICRISAT headquarters.
Speaking at the project’s Review and Planning Meeting, ICRISAT Director General Dr William D Dar, emphasized that micronutrient traits should be mainstreamed in the pearl millet breeding program to combine both high grain yield and higher levels of micronutrient content in future cultivars to address both food security and micronutrient malnutrition.
Discussions on activities for the supplemental phase of the project and finalization of work plans for 2014-2015 saw active participation by all the participants. Partners from both public and private sectors appreciated the efforts made in the project to identify promising hybrids and generation of promising breeding materials for marginal environments of India.
Drs HP Yadav, Project Coordinator, All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project (AICPMIP) and Stefania Grando, Research Program Director-Dryland Cereals, ICRISAT, co-chaired the sessions on review and planning activities in the Indian States of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana.
ICRISAT’s Drs N Nagaraj, Rajan Sharma and SK Gupta presented the progress reports and briefed the participants about the planned activities for 2014.
Dr Shoba Sivasankar, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals also contributed to the discussions and ICRISAT’s Mr MS Raju provided the financial update to the group.
The HOPE project in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The activity was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals.