Good for the Farmer

New solutions needed to feed 9 billion by 2050

A third of rice, maize and wheat-growing areas have experienced yield plateaus or decrease in yield gain in the last decade.

Great yield gain potential

Average rain fed sorghum yield is as low as 600 kg/ha, whereas its realistic potential is three times higher. Significant impact is already proven.

Crucial staple for millions in the drylands

Millets are well-known traditional crops for most of the 2.5 billion people living in the drylands. 80% is eaten by farmers’ families.

Multiple uses exist with untapped markets
Fodder: Pearl millet straw, with up to 50% dry matter, is the main animal feed for dryland herders in the dry season.

Multiple uses of pigeon pea

As green manure, pigeon pea produces 13,619 kg/ha of dry matter and 23 kg of N/t of dry matter

Pigeon pea leaves and forage, high in protein and easily accessible, are largely used as fodder.

The stems and branches of pigeon pea plants are used to prepare baskets, fencing and thatch, and serve as an additional income source for women.

In Thailand, pigeon pea is host to insects that produce lac, used for various products such as:

  • Color-fast dye used on animal fibers (wool and silk) and for coloring soft drinks and food
  • Shellac used for painting and furniture manufacturing

Farmers in Africa grow pigeon pea for its firewood more than for its grain. The calorific value of the pigeon pea stalks is about half that of the same weight of coal.

Pigeon pea plants act as wind breakers/shade crops for young cocoa plants in Nigeria. They are also useful as cover/support crop for vanilla in Southeast Asia and as a substrate for mushroom production in China.

Biofuels and fermentation industries not fully developed yet; there is scope for many of the Smart Food crops to be used here. Consumer products – health foods, sanitizers and more – are other untapped markets.

Reduced risk for the farmer
Pulses can better withstand climate change thus reducing risk for the smallholder farmer.
New varieties and hybrids
There is a great scope for developing improved varieties of pulses, with higher resilience to drought, salinity and diseases, as they will play a vital role in the face of adverse climate change impacts on crop productivity.

Good for You

  • Finger millet has 3 times the amount of calcium than milk
  • Very high in iron and zinc
  • Low glycemic (GI) index
  • Good levels of protein
  • High in fiber and more

Good for the Planet

  • Serve as an adaptation and mitigation strategy for climate change which is critical
  • A low carbon footprint
  • Survive in high temperatures
  • Survive with very little water

Good for the Farmer

  • A good risk management strategy for farmers
  • Potential to increase yield
  • Multiple, largely untapped uses from food, feed, brewing, and biofuels
  • Potential to grow markets globally
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