ICRISAT and local seed companies to build a seed industry for supply of high performing hybrids to small holder farmers


Demand for sorghum and pearl millet as major food, feed and fodder crop continues to increase globally.  However, in the last 50 years, these grains have largely been abandoned in favor of the more popular maize, wheat, rice and soya beans. This is because of unavailability of improved and adaptable cultivars (a plant variety produced in cultivation by selective breeding) that are resistant to key biotics (living things and abiotic stresses such as water, air, soil and minerals).

Additionally, the cost involved to come up with new seed lines for sorghum and pearl millet as well as hybrid parents, which are later used to develop the hybrid seeds for the market is high, making local seed companies abandon these crops. It also takes not less than six years to develop new seed lines, hybrid parents and hybrid seeds.