Pearl Millet

Other names (Bajra)

India is one of the largest producers of Pearl Millet in the world with around 7 mio ha area under cultivation. Rajasthan is highest producing state within the country. The crop is grown for a dual purpose - as food for consumption and fodder for livestock. The grain is converted into flour and used for making bread while the stems are used as fodder for cattle. Pearl millet is known for its high nutritive value because of its high iron and zinc content.
Pearl millet is well adapted to areas characterized by extreme dry conditions, rainfall deficit, low soil fertility, and high temperature. It also performs well in soils with high salinity or low pH. It can be grown in areas where other cereal crops, such as maize or wheat, would not survive. This crop provides a solution to farmers of arid zones towards food, feed, fodder and nutritional security.

Problems faced by farmers

The pearl millet farmers in India face a number of challenges. Some of them include ensuring good germination under low soil moisture levels, protection of the early stage crop from soil pests like termites, white grubs and nematodes, maintaining a weed-free crop during the initial growth phase and protection / cure from diseases like downy mildew, blast and leaf spots.

Image Gallery

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(From left to right) Symptoms of downy mildew, symptoms of leaf blast

Solutions we offer

In India, Pearl Millet is mostly grown with minimal plant protection measures by farmers with poor or limited resources and in marginal land. One of the most successful solution from Bayer for these farmers is the Gaucho® treated millet hybrid seed named 9444 Gaucho, which gives protection in the termite infested fields. Atrazine weedicide sprays as pre-emergence and post-emergence use is a common practice. The most dreaded disease ‘downy mildew’ is controlled by seed treatment with Metalaxyl.
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