Millets grow in dry zones as rain-fed crops and they are small-seeded and harder. They have the capability of
cultivating under marginal conditions of soil fertility and moisture. Millets also are an important ingredient of the
prehistoric diet in Indian, Chinese and Korean societies. Millets are one of the oldest foods known to humans and
possibly the first cereal grain to be used for domestic purposes.
Health benefits of millet
 Millets are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and -acid forming food.
 Since they are easy to digest they are considered to be the least allergenic and most digestible grains available
compared to rice, especially polished rice.
 Millets release lesser percentage of glucose and over a longer period of time.
 Millets are particularly high in minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.

 It helps to reduce cholesterol, lowers blood pressure & helps in the development & repair of body cells & tissues.
 It helps to lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes especially for women.
 Its high insoluble fiber helps to prevent Gallstones formation.
 Pre-menopausal women eating millets have a reduced breast cancer risk.

Type of Millets

Pearl millet

It’s a great body coolant. It is consumed as porridge during summer. It helps to improve the digestion power & heals
stomach ulcers too. It helps to improve bowel movements & prevents constipation

Finger millet

Ragi has the highest mineral & calcium content when compared to all whole grains & minerals. It is called as wonder
grain as it is a powerhouse of protein & amino acids. It helps to reduce the heat of the body and also helps to heal
ulcers & anemia.

Foxtail millet

It is first of millet varieties that were used in ancient days. Foxtail millet is high in carbohydrates and rich in dietary
fibre and minerals such as copper & iron. It helps to control blood sugar & cholesterol levels.

Kodo millet

It is basically digestion friendly millet. It is rich in phytochemicals, Phytate that helps in reduction of cancer risks. It
helps to reduce the body weight and helps overcome irregular period problems in women.

Barnyard millet

It has 6 times high fiber content when compared to wheat. It is a gluten-free millet with high calcium, phosphorous &
fibre. It is high in carbohydrates & fat too. It helps to maintain the body temperature and acts as a good anti-oxidant

Little millet

It helps to prevent constipation & heals all the problems related to stomach. It improves the semen count of men. It
also helps for women with irregular periods problems. It is high in fibre and helps to reduce the fat depositions in the

Varieties of millet in Kenya

They include;
 P224- this is a brown seeded variety, usually tall with uniform plant height and is tolerant to lodging and blast. It takes 3-4 months to mature.
 Katumani- it is a red seeded variety, short and is drought tolerant. It takes 3 months to mature
 U-15, Gulu and Okahale-1- these are new, superior finger millet varieties, which guarantee higher yields, tolerance to drought, striga weed and blast disease.
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