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 too.

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 body.

Varieties of millet in Kenya


They include;

  • P224- thisis 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-15Guluand 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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