Namibia doubles pearl millet yields
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CTA. 1992. Namibia doubles pearl millet yields. Spore 38. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45723
Most Namibians eat mahangu, a coarse cereal prepared from pearl millet. But despite its being a staple, no research was done on this crop in Namibia before Independence in 1990. For most Namibians, the basic choice of food is between the flour of...
Most Namibians eat mahangu, a coarse cereal prepared from pearl millet. But despite its being a staple, no research was done on this crop in Namibia before Independence in 1990. For most Namibians, the basic choice of food is between the flour of pearl millet and maize. Of the two, pearl millet is better adapted to semi-arid conditions. Maize does not grow well in the drylands of Namibia, which have low and unpredictable rainfall, consequently maize flour has to be imported. But farmers have now been introduced to a new variety of pearl millet, Okashana 1 (also known as ICTP 8203). ICTP 8203 is an open-pollinated pearl millet variety developed at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) at Patancheru, India. The prominent characteristics of the variety are that it gives high grain yield, has a large seed, matures early, has resistance to downy mildew disease and yields well under end-of-season drought conditions. With traditional cultivation practices, Namibian farmers have doubled their pearl millet yields. With improved cultivation practices they could even expect 2.4 tonnes/ha, about eight times the traditional yield of the crop. The consequence is that Namibia need no longer rely so heavily on maize imports. Jugu Abraham Informafion Services ICRISAT Patancheru PO Andhra Pradesh 502 324 INDIA