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Finger millet blast disease management: A key entry point for fighting malnutrition and poverty in East Africa

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Abstract:

Finger millet is a staple, high-quality food, important to the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in East Africa. It has been neglected by major donors to agricultural research. This paper reports recent investment by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in several projects on blast disease that has not only led to successful promotion of sound blast management strategies to farmers, but has also fostered partnerships in an evolving finger millet innovation system in East Africa. A key entry point has been created to address other constraints to finger millet production and utilization, such as ineffective weed management, poor grain quality, inefficient seed systems and production–supply chain problems, notably through 'spill-in' and adaptation of relevant technologies developed elsewhere. Further donor investment in the finger millet sector is likely to make a significant contribution to fighting malnutrition and poverty in East Africa.

Keywords: BLAST DISEASE MANAGEMENT; EAST AFRICA; ELEUSINE CORACANA; FINGER MILLET; GRAIN MILLERS AND PROCESSORS; INNOVATION SYSTEMS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/000000007781159994

Publication date: June 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Outlook on Agriculture is an international peer-review journal devoted to agricultural science, policy and strategy. The journal is published quarterly and provides analysis, reviews and commentary for an international and interdisciplinary readership. Special attention is paid to agricultural policy, international trade in the agricultural sector, strategic developments in food production, the role of agriculture in social and economic development, agriculture in developing countries, and environmental issues. Readers include academics, policy makers and practitioners. For more details go to www.ippublishing.com
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