In the quest to address low millet production, Dr. Scovia Adikini, the head of the dry lands program specializing in finger millet, has attributed the issue to the limited adoption of improved millet varieties. Despite a growing demand for millet products used in baby and adult food, bakeries, and for export, the actual production levels remain insufficient. Dr. Adikini explained that this low adoption is linked to inadequate funding for finger millet research, which has resulted in limited awareness of the improved millet varieties.
Millet stands out as a resilient crop, well-suited for withstanding the impacts of climate change due to its low water requirements. Moreover, it boasts valuable nutritional attributes, including carbohydrates, proteins, as well as calcium and zinc. Noteworthy among the recommended varieties for farmers to consider are NAROMIL4, NAROMIL3, NAROMIL2, and NAROMIL5, among others.
The newly introduced millet varieties have the potential to significantly increase yields for farmers. They are expected to enhance the current yield of 0.7 metric tonnes per hectare to 2.5 metric tonnes per hectare. These promising millet varieties are currently being showcased at the World Food Day celebrations held at the National Coffee Research Institute (NaCORI) in Mukono district. The overarching theme for this year’s celebration is “Water is Life, Water is Food, Leave No One Behind,” emphasizing the critical importance of water resources, which are facing increasing scarcity. The event is jointly organized by the agriculture ministry, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Food Program.