Enhancing the Utilization and Marketability of Sorghum and Pearl Millet through Improvement in Grain Quality, Processing Procedures and Technology Transfer to the Poultry Industry
Kansas State University
The strategy for this project thus far has been to assemble a team of U.S. and host country collaborators to focus on educational programs, promotional programs, and continual improvements in sorghum grain quality. We have integrated research projects involving pathology/grain weathering, breeding for improved nutritional value (e.g., large seed size, high protein/fat content, and improved digestibility), and feed processing (e.g., proper grinding, mixing, and hydro-thermal technologies) with poultry nutrition/production. Findings from these programs have been presented at professional meetings and short courses and developed into outreach and education programs designed to support the flourishing poultry industry in West Africa. Finally, effort has been used to interact/collaborate with colleagues in Central America to ensure the sustainability of accomplishments in our previous INTSORMIL activities and to obtain information/inputs pertinent to our activities in West Africa. Objectives and Implementation Sites: Our ultimate goal is to support the explosive growth in the global poultry industry as a means to diversify farm enterprises in West Africa. A healthy animal feeding sector will provide stable markets for cereal grains and transition sorghum and millet from subsistence crops to cash crops (when sold to livestock producers) that yields disposable household income. The even more important result of a thriving animal industry is improved nutritional status of humans that consume the resulting animal products and a general increase in quality of life for rural Africa. This has been a successful model in North America and Asia and it is our objective to ensure that sorghum and millet enjoy a prominent position in similar developments for Africa.
1. Improve the stability and performance of pearl millet by identifying and preserving germplasm with superior agronomic traits and resistance or tolerance to diseases, pests, and environmental stresses. 2. Enhance the production and marketability of pearl millet by improving pearl millet for yield, stability, consumer nutrition, and other market-driven quality traits. 3. Enhance the improvement of pearl millet genetic resources through the application of molecular genetic technologies. 4. Develop effective partnerships with national and international agencies, and other partners engaged in pearl millet improvement and the betterment of people who depend upon pearl millet for their livelihood.