In Ghana, millet is predominantly grown as a food crop.
According to research conducted by the FAO in 2012, yields from millet production are normally low, averaging three-quarters of annual expectation.
One major feature about millet is its ability to produce grain under hot, dry conditions and infertile soils with low water holding capacity. This makes the crop suitable for the northern belt of Ghana which is relatively dry.
Worldwide, pearl millet is reported to account for almost half of global millet production, with Africa recording 60% (estimated at 15 million hectares annually) and 14 million hectares in Asia.
Global production of millet exceeds 10 million tons.
Pearl millet and Sorghum serve as main staple for more than 500 million people living in the semi-arid tropics.
Recently, eighteen millet genotypes obtained from the ICRISAT was supplied to farmers in the Upper West region of Ghana to evaluate their maturity period, yield; and tolerance to pest and diseases.
According to Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture, about 60 farmers comprising women and men from Jonga, Diodi and Piisi in the Wa Municipality evaluated the varieties giving to their preferred characteristics to select the best five varieties using coloured cards.
The best five varieties was evaluated the next season and eventually three selected for multiplication and distribution to farmers in the region for cultivation.
Preliminary observations showed that one of the new varieties introduced flowered in 30 days, while 10 of the varieties also flowered in 60-65 days and seven varieties flowered in 65-77 days. Millet production has seen some moderate output since 1960.