Millets, Indian Food Crop
Millets like Jowar, Bajra and Ragi comprise a major food source in India and the country is the largest producer of the coarse grains.
Millets, seeded grains or cereal crops, are used as a major food crop in India and are used for various purposes. Millets have protein content higher than both Wheat and Rice individually. Millets form a major food source in the country. Moreover, millets are also used as fodder and bird-food. It can also be used for locally prepared alcoholic drinks. There are different types of millets found in India like-
* Finger millet (known as Mandwa or Ragi)
* Buckwheat millet (known as Kuttu)
* Foxtail millet (known as Thinai in Tamil Nadu)
* Pearl millet (known as Bajra)
* Amaranthus millet
* Proso millet
The common Indian Barnyard Millet, also known as Sanwa millet, is also widely cultivated through out the country.
Millets like Jowar (sorghum), Bajra and Ragi are also called coarse grains. They are Kharif crops and are chiefly rain-fed crops, requiring hardly any irrigational facilities. Unlike rice, they grow in less rainy areas in the following order- Ragi, which grows mostly in damp areas; Jowar, which grows in moist areas and Bajra grows in dry areas. Ragi, which requires comparatively more rain, is grown usually in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Jowar is mostly cultivated in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Bajra is grown in the drier parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthanand south-west Uttar Pradesh.
India leads the world in production of millets. In 2007, India produced 10,610,000 tonnes of Millets, becoming the highest producer around the globe. The region under these crops has not amplified much in the recent years.
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(Last Updated on : 14-03-2012)
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