Millets

Annual production of millets is over 27 million tonnes. About 77% of production is used for food, and millets are very important food crops in semiarid regions of Africa. There are at least nine species of millet. In production terms, the most important is pearl or bulrush millet (Pennisetum glaucum) (about 53% of the total). Foxtail millet (Setaria italica), proso millet (Panicum miliaceum), and finger millet (Eleusine coracana) contribute about 17%, 14%, and 12%, respectively, to world production. Other species, which include Japanese or barnyard millet (Echinochloa crus-galli), kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum), teff (Eragrostis tef ), fonio (Digitaria exilis and D. iburua), and little millet (Panicum sumatrense), contribute the remaining 4% of production. Pearl millet is a dietary staple in Niger, where the supply for food use is 426gday_1 per person, providing over 70% of the total dietary cereal. High consumption levels are found in other African countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Gambia, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Chad), where the supply for food use ranges from 100gday_1 to 200gday_1 per person.

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