Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement (HOPE) of Sorghum and Millets

The HOPE project spanning 11 countries focused on developing improved varieties and crop management practices to help smallholder farmers increase productivity under harsh, dry production environments in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

7092718911_dec4f7f625_zEastern and Southern Africa

83% adoption rate of improved sorghum cultivars in Ethiopia

45% yield advantage from improved varieties by using microdosing and tied ridges

5 sorghum cultivars and 7 finger millet varieties were released by partners in Ethiopia

60% sorghum productivity gain in Eritrea from the package of improved practices

In Kenya, finger millet variety U-15  was released by a partner and 2 sorghum cultivars were released by partners in South Sudan

17% productivity gains were registered in finger millet in Tanzania

25 finger millet lines with drought potential were selected for regional trial and evaluation in Uganda. 

 West and Central Africa

129% productivity gains in sorghum and 50% in pearl millet from the package of improved practices in Mali

4000 farmers were involved in Integrated Striga and soil fertility/water management Farmer Field Schools

13 farmer organizations were trained in seed marketing in Burkina Faso

In Niger, pearl millet varieties ICRI-Tabi, Mil de Siaka and ICMV-IS 89305 were selected for wider dissemination and testing

Nigeria reported 21% productivity gains from package of improved practices in sorghum and 150% productivity gains from package of improved practices in pearl millet.

  • 49 cultivars released by the project countries (25 sorghum; 13 pearl millet; and 11 finger millet)
  • 183,421 farm households reached with new production technologies
  • 8,579 tons of seed produced under the program (6,251 tons of sorghum; 2,084 tons of pearl millet; and 244 tons of finger millet)
  • 178,447 mini-packs of seed distributed initially at no cost, but at the beginning of the second year a partial cost recovery approach was implemented. The packs were sold to farmers primarily through field days, seed-producing farmers and local agro-dealers
  • 50 researchers received advanced degree training with HOPE support (15 PhD and 35 MSc degrees completed)
  • 3,280 National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) scientists took part in HOPE-sponsored short courses

South Asia

7 pearl millet cultivars released by partners in India (3 each in the states of Rajasthan and Haryana and 1 in Gujarat)

220 kg of breeder seed of preferred open pollinated varieties were produced

Seeds of 4 released sorghum varieties were distributed for cultivation over 10,180 hectares, involving 25,200 Indian farmers

Farmer-preferred pearl millet hybrids identified for dissemination: 9 for Rajasthan, 4 for Gujarat and 4 for Haryana


The HOPE Project was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and was carried out by 50 partners led by ICRISAT

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