Pearl millet is grown as a grain and stover crop by the poorest farmers in the harshest cropping environments of South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. It has excellent tolerance to environmental stresses and has high nutritional and therapeutic food value. Soil fertility, biotic (Striga, downy mildew) and abiotic stresses exacerbated by weather and climate shocks are the biggest constraints threatening pearl millet farmers’ food and income security. To breed more resilient cultivars a number of genetic and genomic resources have been developed in pearl millet. Such resources, in particular the trait-based bi-parental crosses and QTL introgression lines, have facilitated both the understanding of traits’ genetics and physiology, and also of their successful transfer into elite cultivars using marker-assisted selection. Major limitation of bi-parental crosses however is that they depend on limited genetic variation present in the parental genotypes. New methods of population construction using germplasm panels coupled with advances in next generation sequencing (NGS) provide opportunities to capture wider genetic variation present in the germplasm resources. This presentation will first review progress made using first and second generation of markers and genetic resources, and then outline the promise of NGS and new genetic resources in accessing and utilizing untapped genetic variations. Research efforts on assembly of pearl millet germplasm population capturing global genetic variation of traits, and NGS applied to uncover such variation, will be presented. Prospects of breeding such variation in elite pearl millet cultivars using emerging breeding methodologies will be discussed.