Pearl Millet—New Developments in an Ancient Food Grain
J. R. N. Taylor (1), S. C. Barrion (2), and L. W. Rooney (3). (1) University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; (2) University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia; (3) Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, U.S.A. Cereal Foods World 55(1):16-19.
Pearl millet is the most important of the millets, with an annual production of approximately 15 million tons. It is a very hardy cereal and is cultivated in areas of high temperature and low rainfall. Pearl millet is a major crop in Africa and India and is increasingly being cultivated on a large scale in other regions, including the southeastern United States. Traditionally, in Africa, it has been a subsistence crop. However, growing urbanization is creating a demand for convenience versions of traditional pearl millet foods. These are being produced by entrepreneurs across the continent. These pearl millet products have potential in niche health food and ethnic food markets around the world. In Africa, the major constraint to increasing pearl millet utilization is low agricultural productivity. This problem is starting to be successfully addressed by applying a supply chain management strategy.