December 5, 2008

Small Millets

Small Millets
Small millets are small grained cereals mainly grown in arid, semi arid or montane zones as rain fed crops under marginal and sub-marginal conditions of soil fertility and moisture. Small millets are important to global agriculture and are a major cereal crops, grown in fairly large areas of South Asia, China, the former USSR and Africa. They are also found in areas of the United States and Europe on a limited scale.

Finger millet is the principal small millet species grown in South Asia, followed by kodo millet, foxtail millet, little millet, proso millet and barnyard millet, in that order. Foxtail millet and pros millet are important in China and the latter is grown extensively in southwestern USSR. In Africa, finger millet, teff and fonio have local importance.

The average global productivity of small millets is almost 1 t/ha. There has been a trend in the last two decades to replace these crops with major cereal like maize and wheat, which has been a factor in the reduction of area under these crops. Presently, small millets are cultivated in areas where they produce a more dependable harvest than other crop, this has been largely responsible for their continued presence and cultivation in many parts of the world there is now an increasing realization of this fact and a greater awareness that these crops merit more research and development.
Small Millets
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