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Increased Food Security through Improved Pearl Millet 

Marker assisted breeding produces benefits for farmers and consumers in India

Research carried out at the Institute for Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) in partnership with Bangor University, has led to the breeding of a disease-resistant variety of pearl millet (HHB67-Improved). Pearl millet is a staple crop for the populations of Africa and South Asia that grows where other crops cannot.

HHB67-Improved is the first product of marker-assisted breeding to reach cereal producers in India. By 2011, it was grown on over 700,000 ha and currently three million people have improved food security as a direct result of this international development focused work.

Ongoing Agri-Tech funded research at Aberystwyth University, led by Dr Rattan Yadav, is examining a number of genetic varieties of pearl millet, looking to find the variety most beneficial to people suffering from type-2 diabetes.

The new research is aiming to breed varieties with increased nutritious value which may lead to the development of food products that can help reduce the occurrence of type-2 diabetes or even reverse existing conditions on a global level.

"The net additional benefits to the farming community from cultivation of HHB 67 Improved, compared to the local landrace varieties in Rajasthan and HHB 67 in Haryana, reached $13.5 million in 2011 alone"

The Jewels of ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics), p.38

 

Research Aims

  • Develop new varieties of pearl millet
  • Breed a grain with the best properties to help those suffering from type-2-diabetes, which can still grow in difficult conditions and produce sufficient yields
  • Work with industry to develop food products for the diabetic market
  • Further improve the lives of farmers and pearl millet consumers in India

 

Useful Links

Rattan Yadav - Staff Profile

Aberystwyth University News - Developing pearl millet to tackle diabetes

UKCDS

 

Contact

Dr Rattan Yadav
Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences 
Aberystwyth University
rsy@aber.ac.uk | +44 (0)1970 82 3174