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Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) improvement in India : retrospect and prospects
Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br. emend. Stuntz] is the fourth most important food crop of India and is mostly cultivated for food and fodder in the northwestern states of the country. This paper presents an overview of the genetic and cultural improvement of pearl millet in India and simultaneously discusses future research areas relevant in improvement of pearl millet. There has occurred a more than 2-fold increase in productivity of pearl millet during the last 5 decades owing to widespread use of high-yielding and disease-resistant cultivars with improved production technology. As a result accomplishments in pearl millet breeding are considered as a success story in India. A large number of highyielding and disease-resistant single-cross hybrids and open-pollinated varieties have been developed and are widely adopted by the Indian farmers. Both public and private sectors backed up cultivar development by a strong and effective seed production and distribution programmes. The recurring setbacks of downy mildew [Scler ospora graminicola (Sacc.) Schröter] to pearl millet hybrid programmes experienced in mid-seventies and eighties were effectively tranquilized through genetic diversification of parental lines of hybrids. Proper agronomic recommendations made it possible to harness the potential yield of high-yielding hybrids and varieties. The future priorities in breeding programmes for favourable areas should be on further improvement of yield potential of pearl
Indian Council of Agricultural Research
ISSN : 0019-5022 CODEN : IJASA3
Indian journal of agricultural science A. 2005, vol. 75, n° 4, pp. 183-191 [9 pages]
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