Pearl millet ( Pennisetum glaucum
L.) plays a critical role in smallholder food security in sub-Saharan Africa. The production of pearl millet has, however, stagnated or even declined due to several factors. The objective of this study was to assess farmer perceptions on production constraints and varietal preferences in Senegal. A survey was conducted involving 150 randomly selected farmers from 15 villages, in five representative rural communities of Senegal. A semi-structured questionnaire was used, supplemented by focus group discussions. Results revealed that parasitic Striga
weed was the most constraining factor to pearl millet production across the rural communes. This was followed by low soil fertility and insect pests in that order. Other constraints included lack of machinery for sowing, plant diseases, drought, seed-eating birds, limited access to land for pearl millet cultivation and limited seed availability. Among the traits for varietal preference, farmers unanimously considered grain yield as the most important trait. Other important traits mentioned were adaptation to drought, adaptation to low soil fertility and earliness. These production constraints and varietal preference should be integrated in the profile of the national pearl millet breeding programmes in order to improve the productivity and adoption of bred-cultivars.