Development of pearl millet hybrid seeds and novel food products: An affordable resource in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes
Duration: 01/Mar/2017 - 28/Feb/2019
Project contact: Dr Rakesh K Srivastava (R.k.srivastava@CGIAR.ORG)
CGIAR Research Program: Dryland Cereals
The number of (type 2) mainly non-insulin dependent diabetics in India is currently estimated at 65 million and rising. Pearl millet also popularly known as Bajra is a sustainable cereal with superior glycaemic control over wheat and rice, with a high consumer acceptance in India due to its use in traditional foods. This project will use novel genotypes of pearl millet identified from the molecular breeding program of ICRISAT- India, seed banks of IBERS Aberystwyth University- UK, and SFPL Crop Life Science- India that have properties associated with improved glycaemic control. The low glycaemic index (GI) genes/QTLs will be identified/incorporated into breeding programmes by ICRISAT, in association with Indian Agribiotech Pioneer SFPL Crop Life Science to develop pearl millet cultivars that will be optimized for both agricultural sustainability and glycaemic control. These will then be developed into palatable and affordable foods for the Indian market. These superior low GI lines will be made available as both improved food crops for direct growth and consumption by smallholder farmers and also as a valuable raw material for products by SFPL Crop Life Science that, when consumed regularly, will help to prevent the development of insulin resistance.