Africa: Six Reasons to Bring Millets to the Market!

Rich in heritage and filled with potential, millets are a sustainable, nutritious and under-valued meals supply

We can be small, however we’re robust. We develop the place others can’t. We nurture soils and ecosystems, and we supply vitamin for all.

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What are we?


Millets embody a numerous group of small-grained, dryland cereals together with foxtail, barnyard and fonio, amongst others. As entire grains, millets are an outstanding supply of important vitamins.

Millets are primarily grown in Asia and Africa, with India being the pinnacle producer accompanied by Nigeria, Niger and China. They have been amongst the primary crops to be domesticated and nonetheless function a conventional staple crop in components of Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

These crops, rooted in historic cultures and ancestral traditions, have lengthy survived harsh rising situations. Their local weather resilience and adaptableness provide possibilities for strengthening meals safety and bolstering financial progress.

In celebration of the International Year of Millets 2023, FAO is collaborating with companions to unlock the excellent potential of millets as reasonably priced ingredients which can contribute to healthful diets and a healthful surroundings.

Here are six key motives why millets deserve our interest and an area on our tables:

1. Millets are there when others aren’t.

There is an ever-growing international populace that wants adequate and healthful meals amidst local weather emergencies and depleting herbal sources. Millets may be a part of the answer. These grains can survive harsh local weather situations, providing options to meals shortage. Because they may be many times the sole crops that may be harvested in dry seasons, millets may be an important meals supply for populations susceptible to meals insecurity.

2. Millets can contribute to a healthful food regimen.

Millets supply antioxidants, minerals and protein. As entire grains, every millet range additionally gives distinctive varieties and quantities of fibre, which play a function in regulating bowel operate, blood sugar and lipids.

Furthermore, millets are gluten-free with a low-glycaemic index making them an awesome meals choice for these with celiac sickness or gluten intolerance, high-blood sugar or diabetes. They will also be a cheap supply of iron. Incorporating millets in our diets can supply us with nutritious and healthful options to the same old refined grains within the international market. Start exploring some millet recipes, similar to this finger millet pancakes choice, to revamp your food regimen!

3. Millets are climate-resilient.

Millets are proof against drought and tolerant to crop ailments and pests, permitting them to outlive in opposed weather conditions.


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Because millets may be grown with minimal inputs and preservation and might adapt to local weather shocks, increasing manufacturing of millets can rework neighborhood agrifood structures to be extra environment friendly, resilient and inclusive. The means of millets to develop in poor, degraded soils may also supply land cowl in arid areas, decreasing soil degradation and supporting biodiversity.

4. Millets provide promising livelihood possibilities for small-scale farmers.

As different cereals have turn out to be widespread, dietary preferences have shifted and led to a decline within the manufacturing and demand for millets. By encouraging the consumption and manufacturing of those underutilized crops, we will assist millets regain market share and create extra possibilities for small-scale farmers.

5. Millets’ commerce can enhance the variety of the worldwide meals system.

Currently, millets account for much less than three percentage of the worldwide grains commerce. When sudden shocks have an effect on the foodgrain market, millets can supply a priceless choice to normally traded grains. This added variety can enhance the resilience of the worldwide commerce markets and mitigate our reliance on different grains.

6. Millets may be used in lots of modern methods.

The genetic variety of millets lends itself to many numerous and innovate purposes of millets in areas similar to therapeutics and prescription drugs. Used innovatively, millets provide even higher market possibilities for regional and worldwide commerce.

This is our 12 months. Unleash our potential and convey us lower back to your tables.

We are robust. We are millets, however we can’t do it alone.

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