Barnyard millet – a potential food and feed crop of future uri icon

abstract

  • The two species under genus Echinochloa, E. frumentacea (Indian barnyardmillet) and E. esculenta (Japanese barnyard millet), are cultivatedfor food and fodder by hilly and tribal communities in Asia particularlyin India, China and Japan. The crop has wide adaptability and occupies aspecial place in marginal rainfed areas because of its short life cycle.Although the area under the crop has come down drastically in last 50years, the crop ability to survive under harsh conditions makes it a betterchoice during famine years. In the Indian Himalayan region, the cropwas traditionally used as a substitute for rice. It has been identified as asuitable choice for climate-resilient agriculture. High nutrient content andantioxidant effects make it to be considered as a functional food crop.Recently, the demand of the crop has increased due to its highly nutritiousgrains. Thus, it has the potential to provide both food and nutritionalsecurity particularly in hills where nutritional deficiencies are inabundance. Despite enormous potential, the crop has not gained the popularityamong masses and is still considered as poor man?s food. Thiswork therefore is an attempt to compile the meagre information availableon crop history, evolution, crop breeding and present status to make thecrop competitive and revamp its cultivation

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015