Wealth of millets
Millets are one of the oldest foods known to humans & possibly the first cereal grain to be used for domestic purposes. “Our kitchens offer many preventive medicines and millets aren’t new.”
Our older generation lived longer due to this wonder-food which was replaced by Rice, Wheat and Sugar, the three main culprits for the many conditions people suffer today, including diabetes.
Millets acts like preventive medicine. Millet-based foods shows tremendous health benefits besides many anti ageing benefits too.
People like to be healthy, and our aim is to help them achieve their goal.
We observe that the gap often lies because many people want to convert to healthy food, but don’t know how. Through millets we hit the roadblock, which are rich in minerals and fiber.
Good for all
‘Millets are smart food, as they are good for the consumer, for the dryland farmer and also for the planet.’
Millets are for everyone, especially for children. Kids should be encouraged to have millets.
Many dishes that can be prepared with them in breakfast, lunch and dinner, such as idlis, upma, rotis Khichdi (with vegetables, cow ghee and nuts), sweets and Frankies, cutlets and even pasta.
Foxtail millet is regarded as a native of China, it is one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops. Known from the Yang-Shao culture period dating back about 5000 years.
Foxtail millet ranks second in the total world production of millets and continues to have an important place in the world agriculture providing approximately six million tons of food to millions of people, mainly on poor or marginal soils in southern Europe and in temperate, subtropical and tropical Asia. It will grow in altitudes from sea level to 2000 m. It cannot tolerate water logging.
Foxtail millet is fairly tolerant of drought; it can escape some droughts because of early maturity. Due to its quick growth, it can be grown as a short-term catch crop. It is adapted to a wide range of elevations, soils and temperatures. Its grain is used for human consumption and as feed for poultry and cage birds.
Proso millet was domesticated in Manchuria and introduced to Europe about 3000 years ago, followed by introduction in the Near East and India. It is the milium of the Romans and the true millet of history. Proso millet is well adapted to many soil and climatic conditions. Being a short season crop with low water requirement, it grows further north than the other millets and also adapts well to plateau conditions and high elevations. Proso is found high in mountains; in the former USSR up to 1200 m and in India up to 3500 m.
Proso millet generally matures between 60-90 days after planting and can be grown successfully in poor soil and hot dry weather. It is an easy crop to grow and it seems to be better adapted than most crops to primitive agricultural practices.
Proso millet requires very little water, possibly the lowest water requirement of any cereal, and converts water most efficiently to dry matter/grain. This is not because of its drought resistance but because of its short growing season.
Kodo millet was domesticated in India almost 3000 years ago. It is found across the old world in humid habitats of tropics and subtropics. It is a minor grain crop in India and an important crop in the Deccan plateau.
The fiber content of the whole grain is very high. Kodo millet has around 11% protein, and the nutritional value of the protein has been found to be slightly better than that of foxtail millet but comparable to that of other small millets. As with other food grains, the nutritive value of Kodo millet protein could be improved by supplementation with legume protein
Little millet was domesticated in India. It represents the weedy progenitor of P.psilopodium grown throughout India to a limited extent up to altitudes of 2100 m, but is of little importance elsewhere. The seeds of little millet are smaller than those of common millet.
Little millet is another reliable catch crop in view of its earliness and resistance to adverse agro-climatic conditions. The stover is a good fodder for cattle.
Pearl millet is annually grown cereal on more than 29 m ha in the arid and semi-arid tropical regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
India is the largest producer of pearl millet, both in terms of area (9.3 m ha) and production (8.3 m ton) (Figure 1). As compared to the early 1980's, the pearl millet area in India declined by 19%, but production increased by 28%, owing to a 64% increase in productivity
The main area of production is mainly the Ethiopian and East African highlands up to 2,700 m, where it is an important staple food. Teff is a tiny-grained ancient form of millet. It has been cultivated since old Egypt times with today Ethiopia being the largest producer.
Licensed from the Ethiopian government, organic teff is today also grown in European countries. Significant parts of the sales revenues from these growing projects go directly to the Ethiopian population.
Teff is characterized by its low glycaemic index. Carbohydrates are released to the human blood cycle succeedingly. Therefore, teff is excellently suitable for long-distance runners. The successful African runnning champions serve as prominent testimonial users for the exceptional grain.
People suffering form Diabetes also profit from this delayed sugar release into the blood cycle.
Teff is botanically glutenfree and an important element within a diet for celiac-disesase-suffering people or people trying to follow a glutenfree diet.
Teff flour gives exceptionally good results in breadbaking in terms of shape, taste and colour. It is therefore superior compared to other glutenfree cereals used in bakery.
Japanese or Barnyard Millet
The main areas of production are India, East Asia, parts of Africa, and as a forage in the eastern United State. E. crusgalli domesticated in Japan 4000 years ago and E.colona domesticated in India. Barnyard millet is the fastest growing of all millets and produces a crop in six weeks. It is grown in India, Japan and China as a substitute for rice when the paddy crop fails. The plant has attracted some attention as a fodder in the United States and Japan. An important characteristic is its wide adaptation in terms of soils and moisture; it takes longer to mature (three to four months total) than the others.
Finger millet is originally native to the Ethiopian highlands and was introduced into India approximately 4000 years ago. It is highly adaptable to higher elevations and is grown in the Himalayas up to an altitude of 2300 m.
It is the most important small millet in the tropics (12% of global millet area) and is cultivated in more than 25 countries in Africa (eastern and southern) and Asia (from Near East to Far East), predominantly as a staple food grain. The major producers are Uganda, India, Nepal, and China. Finger millet has high yield potential (>10 t/ha under optimum irrigated conditions) and grain stores very well.
Sorghum is the fifth most important cereal crop and is the dietary staple of more than 500 million people in more than 30 countries. It is grown on 42 m ha in 98 countries of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. Nigeria, India, USA, Mexico, Sudan, China and Argentina are the major producers. Other sorghum producing countries are Mauritania, Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Somalia and Yemen, Chad, Sudan, Tanzania and Mozambique.
Grain is mostly for food purpose (55 %), consumed in the form of flat breads and porridges (thick or thin); stover is an important source of dry season maintenance rations for livestock, especially in Asia; also an important feed grain (33%), especially in the Americas.
|Nutrients and fibre present in 100 grams of Siridhanyalu /grain|