Status and prospects of millet utilization in India and global scenario uri icon

abstract

  • Sorghum and millets are important cereals that play a significant role in the food and nutrition security of developing countries. Together, they account for 10% of Asia's coarse grain production. India is the largest-producer of sorghum and millets, accounting for over 80% of Asia's production. However, the yield levels in India are relatively low despite the adoption of improved cultivars and hybrids.The pattern of utilization for both sorghum and millets varies across countries/regions. In countries of Africa these crops are used primarily as food grain and form the staple particularly for the poor. In recent years the use of sorghum and millet grain for beer manufacturing is gaining in importance in Africa. In Asia In the last two decades their importance as food staples, particularly in Asia, has been declining due to various factors that include rising incomes, growing urbanization and government policies favouring the production and consumption of fine cereals like rice and wheat. However, the same factors are driving the demand for these crops in alternative uses like feed (cattle and poultry) and alcohol. For both the crops more than 50% of the production is now finding its way to alternative uses as opposed to its consumption only as a staple. The demand.for Value added / processed food products (being promoted as health foods) from sorghum and millets from urban consumers is also increasing albeit from a very low base.In the developed countries sorghum is used largely as a feed grain and millets are used as bird feed. Here too the demand for sorghum is closely linked to maize prices. Globally, sorghum prices generally track maize prices and are 15 -20% lower than maize prices historically.This paper highlights the utilization patterns of sorghum and millets globally with special emphasis on their use in India and future prospects to sustain their utilization particularly in Asia. The first section highlights the utilization pattern .of sorghum followed by millets in section 2. Conclusions and way forward are discussed in section 3

publication date

  • 2015