(Extracted from 'Understanding Millet', Earth360)
Also visit www.milletindia.org for more information, recipes etc.
Millets are a group of small-seeded cereal crops, grown in difficult production conditions. They grow in harsh conditions – in semi-arid and arid belts too and they are more reliable than other grain crops in this region – and have been important staple foods throughout human history for many communities (in fact, millets are known to have been important parts of pre-historic diets, earlier to rice). Despite India being the largest producer of millets in the world, per capita consumption has been declining steadily. Millets include pearl millet (bajra), foxtail millet, proso millet, finger millet (ragi), barnyard millet, kodo millet, little millet etc. Millets traditionally are grown with many other crops and varieties of crops and the coarse millets are usually grown in organic conditions. The following tables give you an idea of the local names of millets in India and the
Millets traditionally are grown with many other crops and varieties of crops and the coarse/minor millets are usually grown in organic conditions – we are not referring to hybrid-seed based intensive cultivation of crops like jowar and bajra but of millets like proso millet, barnyard millet, little millet, kodo millet etc. (therefore, we are adding these into our Tips for Safe Food). The following tables give you an idea of the local names of millets in India and the nutrient-related information of some millets.