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Pearl millet is the most drought tolerant warm season coarse grain cereal grown on 26 million ha in some of the harshest semi-arid tropical environments of south Asia and sub-Sahara Africa. India has the largest area (varying between 9-10 million ha) under pearl millet which is at third rank after rice and wheat. Pearl millet is often grown on infertile soils and under water-limited conditions where no other cereal crop can be successfully grown. Its is valued for both grain and stover as its grain is the major source of dietary carbohydrates of human diet in western India and stover forms the basis of livestock ration during the dry period of year in north Indian states.  Its grains have high protein content, balanced amino acid profile, and high levels of iron, zinc and insoluble dietary fiber.

All India Coordinated Millet Improvement Project

All India Coordinated Millet Improvement Project (AICMIP) was established in the year 1965 with its headquarters at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.  The headquarters of the project were shifted to Pune in 1977.  Later on pearl millet was separated from the rest of the millet crops and the All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project (AICPMIP) was established in 1985 with its headquarters at Pune as an independent coordinated project.  The ICAR shifted, in July 1995, the headquarters of AICPMIP to Jodhpur in the state of Rajasthan, the state which occupies nearly half of pearl millet area of the country.

AICPMIP has a network of thirteen centers in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. The AICPMIP centers pursue mandated activities in pearl millet improvement, production and protection.

The All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project (AICPMIP) has played a pioneering role in developing a diverse range of improved breeding lines and parental lines of hybrids. These lines have been used extensively to develop and commercialize a large number of hybrids. These hybrids are currently cultivated on approx. 50% of the total pearl millet area of 9-10 m ha. Hybrids maturing in 80-85 days, when cultivated as an irrigated rains/ summer season crop in parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, have been reported to give as high as 4000-5000 kg ha-1 of grain yield. With adaptive and nutritional features of pearl millet combined with high yield potential make it an important cereal crop that can effectively address the emerging challenges of global warming, water shortages, land degradation and food-related health issues. AICPMIP has also developed production-protection technologies specific to agro-eco regions of different states.


The research efforts targeted to enhance productivity through breeding high yielding cultivars and refinement in production and protection technologies have resulted into increase in pearl millet productivity from 314 kg/ha in 1950 to 991 kg/ha in 2010. The total pearl millet production has also been increased from 2.6 m tonnes to 9.0 m tonnes. In 2003, pearl millet had a record grain production of 12.11 m tonnes with a national productivity of 1141 kg/ha.

ICAR-AICRP on Pearl Millet, Jodhpur - 342 304, Rajasthan, India | Phone : +91 291 2571408 , Fax: +91 291 2571909