Abstract: Drawing upon the serious food insecurity issues and continually growing impacts of climate change on livelihood, diversity sourcing of climate-resilient, nutritionally rich crops like foxtail millet through diversity assessment and on-farm evaluation could be a reliable avenue to meet farmer’s need and improve food security in the extremely mountainous agro-ecology of Nepal and elsewhere. In context of meager research on foxtail millet in Nepal, we conducted on-farm diversity assessment studies of 27 Nepalese foxtail millet landraces in 2015. Subsequently, we identified 8 locally adaptable and robust foxtail millet genotypes based on the inferences of diversity block trial and evaluated them under Humla and Jumla conditions in 2016 for sourcing end-user preferred varietal diversity. Our studies revealed existence of marked diversity among the Nepalese foxtail millet accessions, which could be effectively utilized for crop improvement. Kalo Kaguno, Seto Kaguno, Aule Kaguno, and CO1896 were found to be superior yielders in descending order while CO5644 and CO5647 were substantially found early maturing. Apart from acknowledging the potentiality of these genotypes as promising parents, we encourage deployment of the sourced diversity through participatory plant breeding approaches using informal research and development and diversity kits for expeditious benefits to the local farmers.
Subjects: Agronomy; climate change adaptation; food security; neglected and under-utilized
crop; on-farm research; plant breeding
Keywords: diversity sourcing; food security; foxtail millet; Nepal; on-farm evaluation