Thumbs up for new millet
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 2005. Thumbs up for new millet. Spore 119. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48031
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore119.pdf
A new variety of millet developed by Burkina Faso s agricultural research institute, l Institut national pour l étude et la recherche agronomique (INERA), is proving a big hit with farmers in the central southern region of the country. ..
A new variety of millet developed by Burkina Faso s agricultural research institute, l Institut national pour l étude et la recherche agronomique (INERA), is proving a big hit with farmers in the central southern region of the country. The IKMP5 variety, nicknamed Kiipala (new millet) by local farmers, is popular because it ripens more quickly than the traditional variety and has greater resistance to drought. Kyelem Benjamin, a research technician at INERA, says it has a 70-day cycle, almost half that of traditional millet. Farmers can therefore sow later, enabling them to manage their agricultural timetable more efficiently and to cut down on their workload. This means they have more time to devote to other activities such as growing maize, peanuts and cowpeas. In the words of one farmer, Souleymane Ouédraogo: With the improved variety, you have to plough and make ridges, sow, weed and earth up, while with the traditional variety you have to go back five or six times for weeding. Farmers are also enthusiastic about the flavour of the improved variety. It is easier to chew and much sweeter, so much so that it can be used to make zoom koom, a local drink based on millet flour, without adding sugar. Producers claim dishes made from this new variety are more appetising, since the millet is less yellow than the traditional version. The new variety was introduced in the country s Toessé department 2 years ago. Mr. Benjamin stresses that it requires more technical precision, i.e. a distance of 80 cm must be left between each row and 40 cm between each plant. Some farmers are so keen on the new millet that they maintain it produces higher yields, a claim that is denied by the INERA researcher traditional millet and the improved variety produce identical yields if grown in the same conditions. By contrast, he says, IKMP5 is more resistant to mildew, the scourge of millet. Photographics credits: © IPGRI, © TDAU, © MPA, M.Malengrez © InfoSud, © Meantime Brewery, © Syfia International.