Learn About Millet Plants
Millet is a high protein whole grain that refers to a range of grains, not just one variety. Millet is small round grains varying in colors from brown, white, yellow and red.
|African millet farmers|
Everything you ever wanted to know about millet
What is millet used for? Millet is used mainly as whole, cracked or ground flour, dough, or grain-like rice. These are made into fermented breads, foods, and thick porridges, steam cooked dishes, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. Millet is not just one grain but the name given to a group of several diﬀerent grains.
Pearl millet is one variety of millet, which originated in central tropical Africa. It is believed the plant was farmed as a food crop over 5,000 years ago along the southern margins of the central highlands of the Sahara desert. It has since become widely distributed across the semiarid tropics of Africa and Asia.
About 1/3 of the world’s millet is grown in Africa and Asia, roughly 70% of it in West Africa alone. Chief Millet farming countries in Africa are Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritius and Senegal in the west, and Sudan and Uganda in the east. Six countries, China, Ethiopia, India, the Niger, Nigeria, and the former Soviet Union are estimated to account for about 80% of global millet use.
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Other names for millet throughout Africa are in Kenya mwere, Namibia mahangu, Nigeria gero and emeye, Southern Africa babala, manna, leotsa, nyalothi, inyouti, mhuga, mhungu, amabele, unyaluthi, unyawoti, and unyawothi, Sudan duhun, Tanzania mawele and uwele and Zambia mpyoli.