Pearl millet is a sustainable food security crop for people living in areas with extreme drought and heat conditions. Like in many countries where it is grown, in Uganda the crop grows in semi-arid zones characterised by low average annual rainfall and hot conditions. Despite saving many from hunger, not much is known about the crop. Studies were therefore initiated to generate information on the production characteristics of pearl millet in Uganda, genetic improvement and to assess gene action for grain yield and rust resistance. A survey and experiments were conducted in two predominantly pearl millet growing areas with four objectives: 1) to establish production determinants of the pearl millet cropping system with related uses, constraints and desirable traits, 2) to determine the response to S1 progeny recurrent selection for rust resistance and grain yield in two local populations, 3) to study the inheritance and gene action for grain yield and rust resistance in improved pearl millet germplasm, and 4) to determine the stability of improved pearl millet lines and crosses for grain yield and rust resistance.