are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses
, widely grown around the world as cereal crops
or grains for fodder
and human food. Millets are important crops in the semiarid tropics
of Asia and Africa (especially in India
, and Niger
), with 97% of millet production in developing countries
The crop is favored due to its productivity
and short growing season under dry, high-temperature conditions.
Millets are indigenous to many parts of the world. The most widely grown millet is pearl millet, which is an important crop in India and parts of Africa. Finger millet, proso millet, and foxtail millet are also important crop species.
Millets may have been consumed by humans for some 7,000 years, and potentially had "a pivotal role in the rise of multi-crop agriculture and settled farming societies".
The minor millets have been consumed since the beginning of the ancient civilizations of the world. Generally, the millets are small-grained, annual, warm-weather cereals belonging to grass family. They are highly tolerant of drought and other extreme weather conditions and have a similar nutrient content to other major cereals.
The different species of millets are not necessarily closely related. All are members of the family Poaceae (the grasses) but can belong to different tribes or even subfamilies.
The most commonly cultivated millets are in bold and marked with an *.
This page was last edited on 16 May 2018, at 03:36 (UTC)
under CC BY-SA license.