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Improving a ‘poor people’s crop’ in Karnataka, India – Validated RNRRS Output

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Publication date
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Focus Region:
Asia and the Pacific
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses

This is one of 280 summaries describing key outputs from the projects run by DFID’s 10-year Renewable Natural Resources Research Strategy (RNRRS) programmes.

Summary for Project title: R7324: Participatory plant breeding in finger millet in India.

In dryland Karnataka, farmers readily took part in trials to improve finger millet, a ‘poor people’s crop’. They adopted new varieties at amazing rates and created a huge demand for improved finger millet seed. One old variety was completely replaced by new ones and there were spectacular increases in the amount and quality of grain harvested. Previously, farmers grew old varieties— although they were prone to disease and harvests were poor—because they were adapted to the harsh conditions. Testing new varieties in their fields let farmers choose the varieties that fitted in with their traditional farming system. They were happy to trade-off less grain if that meant they could squeeze in a crop of sesame, green gram or cowpea as well.

The CD has the following information for this output: Description, Validation, Current Situation, Current Promotion, Impacts On Poverty, Environmental Impact. Attached PDF (12 pp.) taken from the CD.