The newly developed open pollinated varieties and hybrids of pearl millet were showcased during a field day in farmers’ fields near Yuri in Niger and also at the ICRISAT research center at Sadore.
As part of the program, a farmer participatory varietal selection was conducted during the field day. Farmers, seed companies and NGOs were asked to select the new varieties and hybrids based on their interest. This exercise helped to better understand the requirements of the farmers in different regions of Niger. The selected varieties and hybrids will be produced in the next season to showcase these varieties and hybrids in the farmers’ fields in coming days.
The newly developed ICRISAT-bred pearl millet varieties with high grain Fe content were planted in farmers’ field and also in Sadore for demonstrations. The new varieties are ICTP 8203, GB 8735, ICMV 221 Wbr, ICRI- Tabi and Jira Ni along with hybrids ICMH IS 14002, ICMH IS 14003, ICMH IS 14009, ICMH IS 14011, ICMH IS 15012, ICMH IS 16265 and ICMH IS 16266.
Varieties selected by participants based on their regions’ need included ICTP 8203 and ICMV 221 Wbr and hybrids such as ICMH IS 14002, ICMH IS 14003, ICMH IS 14009, ICMH IS 14011, ICMH IS 16012 and ICMH IS 16265.
During the field visit, the seed kits of 250 g of ICTP 8203 seeds were distributed to each farmer for sowing in their fields next year. After the visit the AINOMA seed company expressed interest for training in hybrid seeds production. An AINOMA technician will come to ICRISAT as an intern for field training during the off-season trials. This work was carried out in partnership with HarvestPlus.
The Indian Ambassador, His Excellency Mr RS Malhotra inaugurated the field day and visited the pearl millet demonstrations in Sadore research station and in farmers’ field at Yuri. He also visited ICRISAT research facilities such as abiotic stress studies platform, genebank and micronutrient soil analytical laboratory. He appreciated the research being conducted at Sadore and the ICRISAT facilities at Niger.
Around one hundred participants representing national partners, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN), farm unions, various NGOs, Ministry of Agriculture and seed companies (AINOMA seed company) across Niger witnessed the field day and appreciated the newly developed varieties and hybrids.