Promoting pearl millet
ASARECA supported scientists from Eritrea, Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania to develop a profitable cropping system and valuechain for Pearl Millet to enhance its production in the arid and semi arid lands of the sub-region. ASARECA investments boosted the capacity of Eritrea to enhance its genetic resources and address post harvest, utilization, input delivery and marketing constraints. Following successful implementation of the project, researchers in ASARECA countries in June 2010 endorsed pearl millet as the crop that is most suitable for the semi arid areas.
Sorghum-legume intercrop for food security
ASARACA supported researchers from Eritrea, Uganda and Sudan to increase the productivity of sorghum, legumes and livestock. The project focused on boosting efficient farm production, post harvest handling, value addition and diversification and marketing. In Eritrea, this project was implemented with NARI, which was supplied with high yielding and striga resistant sorghum varieties and legumes (green gram (Filsan)) from ICRISAT for on-farm evaluation. Farmers, extension staff and scientists were sensitized and their capacity built on best agronomic practices, soil and water conservation practices, techniques for sorghum legume intercrop, seed production, and value addition. As a result, all the 160 farmers who participated in the project activities adopted the variety, which they intercropped with green gram, alongside other practices such as tie-ridges; application of fertilizer; and use of quality seed. Consequently, yields of both green gram and sorghum increased by over 100 percent. Households in the intervention areas reported improved nutritional benefits associated with feeding on green gram, which is rich in protein, magnesium and iron