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October 16th, 2018 / ICRISAT

Finger millet can be grown at altitudes ranging from sea level to over 2000 metres above sea level, can withstand drought, and has high levels of essential amino acids and micronutrients.

Dr Chrispus Oduori kneels amidst a sea of colorful plastic buckets in a screenhouse in Western Kenya and shifts some leaves of young finger millet plants till he finds what he’s looking for.

“Here it is. Striga!” Oduori points to a shoot emerging at the base of one of the millet plants “It’s a weed that’s a parasite on the crop, and it can cause total loss at harvest time.”

“But there’s hope.” Oduori, a Kenyan finger millet breeder, points to plants in the neighbouring pots which have been inoculated with Striga. “These are wild relatives of finger millet and some of them are showing resistance to Striga.” Read more