A Comprehensive Review of Pearl and Small Millets: Taxonomy, Production, Breeding and Future Prospects in Saudi Arabia

Essam F. El-Hashash *

Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Al-Azhar University, Cairo-11651, Egypt.

Abdulrahman Al-Habeeb

International Dates Council, Saudi Arabia.

Hamdawi Bakri

Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Agricultural Economics Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt.

Ahmad Yassin Majjami

Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, General Administration of Agricultural Research and Extension, Research Planning Department, Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Saudi Arabia.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Agriculture has seen significant development in the last ten years, but it is also struggling with issues like starvation, malnutrition and climate change in the world. Millet crops from flowering plants of cereals crops belonging to the family Poaceae or Gramineae (herbs). Millets are climate-smart crops that achieve nutritional security, develop sustainable diets, provide multiple health benefits, promote sustainable production agriculture, and the fulfillment of the future needs of the ever-growing population as well as create sustainable market opportunities for producers and consumers. In this review, we have attempted to supply information on millet crops including history and taxonomy, germplasm, world production, economic importance, and breeding approaches, as well as millet challenges and prospects in KSA. We underlined the importance of the collection and conservation of millets germplasm which can be of great use in the identification and development of improved millets cultivars with nutritional and health benefits under harsh and changing climatic conditions using breeding conventional and biotechnology methods. Therefore, the promotion of millet could aid attain achieve food and nutritional security of KSA in alignment with the sustainable development goals in Saudi Vision 2030.

Keywords: Pearl millet, small millets, food security, future prospects, KSA


How to Cite

El-Hashash , E. F., Al-Habeeb , A., Bakri , H., & Majjami , A. Y. (2023). A Comprehensive Review of Pearl and Small Millets: Taxonomy, Production, Breeding and Future Prospects in Saudi Arabia. Asian Journal of Research in Crop Science, 8(4), 151–166. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajrcs/2023/v8i4196

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