Potential of pearl millet as a forage crop in wheat-based double cropping system in Central Asia uri icon

abstract

  • Livestock is a vital resource for smallholder farmers?livelihoods in Central Asia, but shortage of winter seasonfodder is a major constraint to livestock productivity inthis region. Three pearl millet populations werecompared with a locally adapted improved maize varietyin Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan for their forage potential inwheat-based cropping system as a second crop afterwheat harvest. Two medium-maturity, dual-purposepopulations (HHVBC-Tall and Raj 171) significantlyout-yielded locally adapted improved maize cultivars inboth countries that had different productivity levels.While HHVBC-Tall had 6.56 t ha-1 of dry forage yield inKyrgyzstan and 13.70 t ha-1 of dry forage yield inTajikistan (28% higher than maize cultivars in bothcountries), Raj 171 had 18% higher dry forage yield thanthe locally adapted improved maize variety inKyrgyzstan and 10% higher dry forage yield than locallyadapted improved maize variety in Tajikistan. Thebenefit-cost ratio from forage production of both pearlmillet populations was highest for HHVBC-Tall (0.89 inKyrgyzstan and 1.56 in Tajikistan), followed by Raj 171(0.74 in Kyrgyzstan and 1.20 in Tajikistan), which weremuch higher than those for maize varieties. These resultsshowed that medium-maturity pearl millet varieties havegood potential to fill in the fallow land after wheatharvest and significantly contribute to fodder security inCentral Asia

publication date

  • 2013