Millet is a staple food crop in the Sahel region, and in Niger in particular. Pearl millet production in Niger is characterized by manual sowing and weeding and low use of mineral and organic fertilizer.
With the aim of increasing food security in the country through improving the production of the grain, a new study compared a traditional production package to a new package consisting of mechanized sowing and weeding, seed priming, seed treatment with a fungicide/insecticide and microdosing.
The average time used for sowing and weeding was reduced, as was the time for the crop to reach maturity when compared to the traditional package. In addition, the average grain yield increased.
The increased yield is likely an effect of more precise sowing, better weed control, and faster crop development. The new techniques will be interesting for farmers because of the increase in land and labour productivity.
The study was produced by the Niger National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRAN) and Noragric, in collaboration with CARE Niger and financed by Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Read the article in the journal Agronomy:
Intensification of pearl millet production in Niger through mechanized sowing and weeding, seed priming, seed treatment, and microdosing.
By Abdourahamane I. M. Nourou, Addam K. Saidou, Warouma Arifa, Amadou O. Abdoulaye and Jens B. Aune.