'Bajra' the most cultivated millet

Rebinson P.L.
Rebinson P.L.
September 30, 2022
'Bajra' the most cultivated millet

Bajra, commonly known as pearl millet and less known as black millet is a grain, scientifically known as ‘Pennisetum glaucum’ and it belongs to the botanical family ‘Poaceae’ and subfamily ‘Panicoideae’.

Bajra is considered the staple nourishment of poor man and is consumed mainly in the form of food items like roti (flatbread), Khichri, cakes, pasta, etc. that are made from its flour. it is also used to make popcorn which is a much-relished snack across the globe. Moreover, bajra is also used as fodder for cattle.

The millet is supposed to have originated in Africa thousands of years ago and was introduced in around 2000 BC to India where the crop thrived owing to the favourable climates and soil conditions. Today bajra is one of the most cultivated and consumed millets in India as well as in the world, especially in China, Pakistan, Sudan, Nigeria and Russia.

Bajra is a Kharif crop that is normally sown either as an individual crop or as a mixed one along with jowar, ragi, or cotton which is normally done from May to September and harvested between October and March.

Bajra can be cultivated almost on all types of soils and in areas that are characterized by high temperature, drought or soil infertility, thanks to its tolerance to difficult and harsh growing conditions where other cereal crops like wheat, maize, etc could not be cultivated. However, sandy loam soils and black cotton soils with good drainage are ideal for the plants that are rainfed or seldom watered, and require warm and dry climates for the best growth and yield.

The plants usually grow 6-7 feet in height and take around 5-6 months to yield the grains that are found in white, gray, brown, yellow and bluish-purple colours.

Bajra contains, fiber, carbs, protein, fat, folate, sodium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin B6. It is also purported to maintain heart health, improve blood flow, regulate blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol and nourish skin, hair and nail.

The largest producer of bajra in the world is India, followed by Africa, China, Pakistan and Russia. The largest exporter also is India followed by, china and Indonesia, while the largest importer is China, followed by Saudi Arabia, Japan, Israel, UAE and Canada.

In India, the largest producer of bajra is Rajasthan, followed by Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Some of the main trading markets of bajra in India:

Rajasthan (Dholpur, Jalore, Jodhpur, Alwar)

Maharashtra (Pune, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Satara)

Haryana (Gurgaon, Bhiwani, Sonepat, Faridabad)

Gujarat (Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Kutch)

Names of bajra in different Indian languages:

Hindi                  Bajra

Tamil                  Kambu

Malayalam         Kambam

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which state is the largest producer of bajra?
    The largest producer of bajra is Rajasthan, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and haryana.
  • What is bajra?
    Bajra is a type of millet, widely grown to process food products and fodder.
  • Which type of crop is bajra?
    Bajra is a Kharif crop.
  • What is bajra called in English?
    Bajra is called Pearl Millet in English.
  • In which soil bajra grows well?
    Bajra grows well in sandy loam, black cotton and light soils with sufficient drainage.
Rebinson P.L.
Rebinson P.L.
Rebinson P.L. (@ebinso) is a self-published author, content marketing strategist, copywriter and editor who has been writing blogs, articles and advertising copies for various firms since completing his master's in English literature. He's dedicated to helping and guiding businesses of all sizes to achieve their desired reach and popularity.
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