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Prospects for Kharif (Rainy Season) and Summer Pearl Millet in Western India

Publisher: ICRISAT

Pearl millet is a major cereal crop in northwestern India. The crop is grown in very harsh, arid, dry climatic areas having high temperature and low and erratic rainfall. It’s use as food is declining but its use as cattle feed, poultry feed and source of starch in the alcohol industry is increasing. Its fodder is an important source of animal feed particularly in dry months when alternative sources of feed are not available. In the last decade, pearl millet was also grown under irrigation in the summer months. Gujarat state has the highest area under summer pearl millet not only among the northwestern states but also at the all-India level. In this paper, we have analyzed the productive potential of both kharif (rainy season) and summer pearl millet particularly in Gujarat state. Kharif pearl millet still contributes to the bulk of the pearl millet production in western India although its yields are relatively low. To compete with crops like guar, green gram, cotton, etc, both grain and fodder yields of the kharif crop need to be increased. With the adoption of improved cultivars and low-cost improved technology, yields can be increased by 20-30% from the existing levels. Yields of summer pearl millet are much higher since it is grown under irrigation and its grain quality is also superior. It is grown as a commercial crop with the bulk of the crop sold domestically, and also exported to neighboring countries. There is a need to explore opportunities to expand the area under summer pearl millet particularly in areas where irrigation is available and the fields are vacant during the summer season

Author(s): K Sammi Reddy, D Moses Shyam, Dharm Pal Malik, G Sawargaonkar, Rajan Sharma, S.K. Gupta, K.K. Kundu, N.J. Ardeshna, I.P. Singh, O.P. Yadav, P Parthasarathy Rao, A Amarender Reddy | Views(168)

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