Downy mildew in pearl millet can result in great losses in grain and stover harvest. Scant and unreliable rainfall is another factor that drastically reduces yield and yield stability. Improved hybrids promise to protect farmers from the past “boom-bust” cycle of hybrid cultivation in India.
Inter-institutional collaboration integrated conventional, participatory and marker-assisted breeding methods to develop extra-early pearl millet hybrid HHB 67 Improved, which has enhanced downy mildew resistance and yield.
>875,000 ha: Area grown to improved varieties mainly in drought-prone areas of Rajasthan, India
Net income from improved seed: USD 1460/ha; total net benefit of USD 6.4 million in 2011
186 person day/ha: Jobs from seed multiplication
USD 13.5 M: Net improved benefits in 2011 alone, compared to previous varieties
Generated 900,000 days of employment each year, 45% of whom were women laborers.