Finger Millet in Eastern Africa

Finger millet is an important subsistence crop in small scale cereal-based farming systems.
However production has been low due to lack of improved technologies, including varieties.
The crop, one of the most nutritious of major cereals, could be the key to solving Africa’s malnutrition problem among women and children.


  • Climate-smart, high-yielding varieties.
  • Improving productivity.
  • Germplasm characterized and sources for resistance to blast, Striga and drought identified.
  • Accessions with high nutrient content identified for different nutrients.
  • Training imparted in good agricultural practices,value addition, market enterprise practices and seed production.
  • Cooking demonstrations & food fairs to popularize finger millet in diet.


  • Community seed production units started in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; women main producers.
  • Seed production boosts incomes 1.5 times compared to grain sale.
  • Yield shoots up 40-60% with improved varieties and agronomic packages.
  •  Yield increase (2010-2015): 2.0-2.3 t/ha in Ethiopia; 0.6-1.0 t/ha in Kenya; 0.7-0.9 t/ha in Tanzania; and 1.8- 2.3 t/ha in Uganda.
  • Grain price of finger millet improves.
  • Availability of diverse finger millet products leading to greater consumption.

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