Burkina Faso releases its first pearl millet hybrid
High-yieldng, downy mildew-resistant and suitable for food and fodder. Developed by ICRISATand evaluated by INERA
Burkina Faso recently approved the commercial use of its first pearl millet hybrid called Nafagnon. With the approval, the single-cross hybrid also became the first of its kind to be approved in West and Central Africa. Nafagnon yields as much as 45 percent higher than popular variety Misari-1. It is more resistant to downy mildew and has higher fodder yield potential.
ICRISAT’s Pearl Millet Breeding program for West and Central Africa developed Nafagnon in Niger and the Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA) evaluated it in Burkina Faso. The hybrid’s name means beneficial millet in Bamanankan language. It also goes by ICRISAT Millet Hybrid (ICMH) 147007. Nafagnon matures early in 80-85 days and has a yield potential of about 3 tons per hectare; early maturity helps overcome terminal drought stress. It is a dual-purpose (grain and forage) hybrid resistant to downy mildew, the most harmful pearl millet disease in WCA. The seed size, yield potential, stay-green and earliness of the hybrid are traits highly preferred by farmers and end users in Burkina Faso, where low yield of pearl millet varieties relative to other cereals is forcing farmers away from one of the best suited crops for Sahel’s harsh agro-ecologies.