Global millets improvement and its relevance to India and developing world uri icon

abstract

  • Sorghum and millets are the important food and fodder crops predominantly in semi-arid regionsaregaining importance in a woridthat is increasingly becoming populous, malnourished and facing large climatic uncertainties. These crops are adapted to range of temperatures, moisture- regimes and input conditions supplying food and feed to millions of dryland farmers, particularly in the developing world. Besides they also form important raw material for potable alcohol and starch production in industrialized countries. Among these crops, sorghum is the world's fifth most important cereal, in terms of both productionand area planted. Millet, a general category for several species of small-grained cereal crops, is the world's seventh most important cereal grain (FAO, 1995). Roughly 90 percent of the world's sorghum area and 95 percent of the world's millet area lie in the developing countries, mainly in Africa and Asia (Table 1). These crops are primarily grown in agro-ecologies subjected to low rainfall and drought. Most such areas are unsuitable for the production of other grains unless irrigation is available. Sorghum is widely grown both for food and as a feed grain, while millet is produced almost entirely for food. These crops are also moving to new niches like rice-fallow sorghums in India

publication date

  • 2015