Spotlight on pearl millet – biofortification and drought tolerance

Pearl millet scientists discussed the ‘Future micronutrient breeding strategy in pearl millet’, and agreed that phenotyping for micronutrient trait was the most important component needed to strengthen and mainstream biofortification activity in pearl millet. This was at the HarvestPlus Pearl Millet Biofortification Review (2019) and Planning (2020) Meeting.

Dr Wolfgang Pfeiffer, Global Director, Product Development and Commercialization, HarvestPlus, commended the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project (AICPMIP) for fixing the minimum levels of iron and zinc content as a criterion for cultivar release/promotion in pearl millet in India. “Crop development needs to ally with the public sector, the private sector and CGIAR centers for testing of products and commercialization,” he said. He advocated harmonization of the seed systems across all of the targeted regions.