Sustainable conservation and utilization of genetic resources of two underutilized crops - Finger millet and Foxtail millet - to enhance productivity, nutrition and income in Africa and Asia
Duration: 01/Jan/2008 - 31/Dec/2011
Locations: Asia / Eastern and Southern Africa / West and Central Africa
Donor: Government department -national- state or local,Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)-Germany
CGIAR Research Program: Dryland Systems
The projects objective is to enhance food security and reduce malnutrition in Africa and Asia through more efficient conservation and use of two currently underutilized species with high nutrient value and excellent adaptability: finger millet and foxtail millet. The access of our partner, National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS), to diverse finger and foxtail millet germplasm will be enhanced through development and joint evaluation of core and mini-core collections. These collections will be characterized for agronomic characteristics, nutrient content (protein, iron, zinc, calcium, and carotene), and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Genotyping with micro-satellite markers will serve to determine population structure and genetic diversity at the DNA level. Combination of marker and phenotypic data will lead to the identification of genetically diverse, trait-specific germplasm for targeted use in breeding programs, genetic studies, and for direct cultivation by farmers. Enhanced cultivation by farmers of such superior and diverse germplasm will increase productivity, availability of nutritionally rich food, and marketing opportunities, and also contribute to in-situ conservation of the two species.