Questions –  India has propose United Nations to declare 2018 as the ‘International Year of Millets’. What are the geographical conditions and important producing areas of Millets in India? Mention the advantages of the cultivation of millets. 

Answer – In Answer We Will cover Following Things

  • Introduction About Millets
  • Different types Of Millets
  • Areas Producing Millets In World And India
  • Geographical Conditions of Growth of Different Millets
  • Health Benefits of Millets
  • Advantages Of Cultivation Of Millets
  • Important For India And Indian Economy

International Year of Millets 2018 – India Propose To united Nations

Introduction About Millets

  • Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food.
  • Millets are important crops in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially in India, Mali, Nigeria, and Niger), with 97% of millet production in developing countries.
  • The crop is favored due to its productivity and short growing season under dry, high-temperature conditions.
  • Millets are indigenous to many parts of the world.
  • Millets are coarse grains and a repository of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Jowar, Bajra and Ragi are the important millets grown in India. Though these are known as coarse grains, these have high nutritional value. These are grown on 16.5% of the total sown area in the country.


Geographical Conditions of Growth:

  • It thrives in areas of warm, dry climate.
  • It requires an annual rainfall of 45cm and temperature ranging between 25 to 30°C.
  • It grows well on sandy soils and shallow black soil.

Important Producing Areas:

  • Rajasthan is the largest producer of bajra followed by Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.


Geographical Conditions of Growth:

  • It is a rainfed crop mostly grown in moist areas which hardly needs irrigation.
  • This crop requires moderate rainfall of 30-100cms and high temperatures ranging from 20 to 32°C.
  • Both excessive moisture and prolonged drought are harmful.
  • Well drained light soils are ideal.

Important Producing Areas:

  • It is the third most important food crop with respect to area and production.
  • It is cultivated as the major food crop in semi-arid areas of the central and south India.
  • In north India, Jowar is mainly a Kharif crop whereas it is sown as both Kharif and Rabi in the southern states.
  • Maharashtra is the largest producer of jowar followed by Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh


  • Ragi is very rich in iron, calcium, other micro-nutrients and roughage.
  • Geographical Conditions of Growth: It is a crop of dry regions and grows well on red, black, sandy, loamy and shallow black soils.
  • Important Producing Areas: Karnataka is the largest producer of Ragi followed by Tamil Nadu. Other states important for the production of ragi are Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh.

The advantages of the cultivation of millets:

1. Nutritional Advantage of Millets:

  • Millet is important because of its uniquely high content of nutrients, including impressive
    starch levels, vitamin B, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and fats.
  • Furthermore, there are significant levels of protein and dietary fibre in millet as well, which contribute even
    more to the health benefits of this important grain!
  • The best health benefits of millet include its ability to protect the heart, prevent diabetes, improve the digestive system, lower the risk of cancer, detoxify the body, improve respiratory health, boost the immune system, increase energy levels, and improve the muscle and nerve health

2. Grazing millets

  • In addition to being used for seed, millet is also used as a grazing forage crop.
  • Instead of letting the plant reach maturity it can be grazed by stock and is commonly used for sheep and cattle.
    Millet is a C4 plant which means it has good water-use efficiency and utilizes high temperature
    and is therefore a summer crop.
  • A C4 plant uses a different enzyme in photosynthesis from C3 plants and this is why it improves 8 water efficiency.

3. Alcoholic beverages

  • Tongba, a millet-based alcoholic brew found in the far eastern mountainous region of Nepal
    and Sikkim, India. In India, various alcoholic beverages are produced from millets. Millet is
    also the base ingredient for the distilled liquor rakshi.

4. Dryzone Agriculture Crop

  • Millets can be grown in even in the dryzone areas of the country which require even lesser
    rainfall. Thus it is advantageous to grow it in rainfed areas where there is scarcity of water.

5. Other Advantages:

  • It has an advantage over other grains of growing in a short period in areas other grains may fail too.
  • It is also gluten-free and can make rather a delicious bowl of porridge.
  • Some countries also use millet flour in making flatbread.

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