National Agriculture Research Institute(s)

National Semi arid Resources Research Institute (NaSARRI)



Affiliated Countries

Kenya and Tanzania


Sorghum and finger millet

Harnessing sorghum and finger millet genetic resources for increased productivity and utilization in the arid and semi-arid regions of East Africa

With a vision to breed new varieties that deliver benefits to smallholder farmers, partners at the National Semi arid Resources Research Institute in Uganda, the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization unite to confront food security across East Africa. 400 million people call the dry land regions of sub-Saharan Africa home, though regional challenges of low productivity, frequent droughts, devastating floods, and pest and disease outbreaks threaten livelihoods. Finger millet and sorghum serve as major sources of carbohydrates and micronutrients in rural communities. Genetic improvement of these crops offers an efficient and cost-effective method to increase smallholder production, serve market needs and vastly improve food and nutritional security across East Africa. 

The East African Center of Innovation for Finger Millet and Sorghum will assess value chains, market analysis and drivers of adoption and identify sources of resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses and sources for nutritional quality. With the goal of breeding resilient varieties, CIFMS will use gene and molecular marker discovery for novel traits (particularly the resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, protein and micronutrients) and develop tools and methods for efficient phenotyping and rapid generation advancement of desirable traits. In order to track progress of advances in crop improvement, CIFMS will establish digital data capture and integrated management of data. Recognizing that crop improvement affects every part of life, the Center of Innovation will prioritize a gender analysis and streamline of gender dynamics in finger millet and sorghum value chains.

Where we work

United to improve food security in East Africa


National Semi arid Resources Research Institute (NaSARRI)


Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization


Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute

The centre will bring together the best tools, technologies and methods, and expertise to empower smallholder farmers particularly women, youth and the poor living in semi-arid region of east Africa to transition from a subsistence existence to one of increasing food and nutritional security, incomes, and resilience to shock.

Scovia AdikiniPrincipal investigator and senior research officer, plant breeder and geneticist/program leader of dry land cereals research, National Semi arid Resources Research Institute (NaSARRI)

Project members

Scovia Adikini

Principal Investigator

Project partners

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