On-Farm Experiment to Assess the Suitability of Millet Types and Landraces

December 2023


In Nepal’s Himalayan regions, millets hold significance as resilient cereal crops, valued for their nutrition and adaptability to challenging climates and contributing to food and nutrition security. However, their cultivation and consumption have declined due to shifting food preferences, market constraints, climate change, pests, and diseases. The on-farm experiment was conducted in Bajura to address these challenges, allowing farmers to directly experience the benefits of millet cultivation and select landraces based on desired parameters. The onfarm experiment featured five millet types ie finger millet, sorghum, foxtail millet, barnyard millet, and porso millet and 14 landraces collected from the local farmers, diversity fairs, seed exchange, and the National Agriculture Genetic Resource Centre (Gene Bank). Agro-orphological parameters such as plant height, days to flowering, seed yield, disease, plant resistance to disease, and pests were monitored by farmers, revealing significant diversity among millet landraces and millet types. Proso-millet emerged as a standout performer, displaying a shorter day to maturity, moderate disease resistance, and a high yield of 1.7 tons per hectare. Finger millet, while yielding up to 0.9 tons per hectare, exhibited disease susceptibility. Sorghum’s Jera Sthaniya demonstrates high disease resistance with a 0% incidence of blast disease, making it a promising choice for disease-prone regions. Foxtail millet exhibited moderate disease resistance, yielding 0.8 tons per hectare. Notably, local millet landraces consistently outperformed imported landraces in disease resistance and yield, underscoring the value of preserving indigenous genetic resources. Collaborative efforts between farmers and researchers provide immediate benefits and support the long-term conservation and improvement of millet crops.

Keywords: Agricultural resilience, agro-morphological parameters, food security, landraces, millets, on farm experiment.