Pearl millet (Cenchrus americanus, commonly known as the synonym Pennisetum glaucum) is the most widely grown type of millet. It has been grown in Africa and the Indian subcontinent since prehistoric times. The center of diversity, and suggested area of domestication, for the crop is in the Sahel zone of West Africa. Recent archaeobotanical research has confirmed the presence of domesticated pearl millet on the Sahel zone of northern Mali between 2500 and 2000 BC. 2023 is the International Year of Millets, declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2021.


Pearl millet has ovoid grains of 3–4 millimetres (1/8–5/32 in) length, the largest kernels of all varieties of millet (not including sorghum). These can be nearly white, pale yellow, brown, grey, slate blue or purple. The 1000-seed weight can be anything from 2.5 to 14 g with a mean of 8 g.


BOTANICAL NAME : Pennisetum glaucum

ORIGIN : West Africa


TOTAL PRODUCTION IN INDIA: 11.43 million tonnes (2022-23)



Maharastra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Uttar Pardesh, Andhra Pardesh, Gujarat, Haryana

Commercial Varieties:

NBH-149, VBH-4, H-306, NH-338, MP-204, MP205, ICM4-155, MH-306

Storage condition:

The separated grains must be cleaned and dried in sun to bring about 12-14% moisture after which the grains may be bagged and stored in a moisture proof store.


Peak Harvesting Season:

  • Rajasthan: - May
  • Uttar Pradesh: - May
  • Gujarat: - May
  • It is also grown post rainy season also known as Rabi season in the month of November-February at a small scale in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Export of 2022-23: - 81709 MT

Major Destination: - UAE, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Morocco, Bangladesh


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