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Area and Distribution of Pearl Millet


Area and Distribution of Pearl Millet

Pearl millet is one of the most extensively cultivated cereals in the world, after rice, wheat, and sorghum, and particularly in arid to semi-arid regions.

    Crop   Area (Millionha)             Production(Million MT)
          Wheat                   216                 626
Rice                 154                 615
      Maize                 147                 692
      Barley                   57                 138
        Sorghum                   43                  57   
          Millet                   27               36

World Area and Production of Major Grain Crops during 2005

Millet Growing Areas in the World  

         Millet Growing Areas in the World

Area and production of pearl millet in the world is combined with other millet crops like finger millet, foxtail millet etc. So, data are not available for pearl millet crop alone. However, pearl millet accounts for almost half of global millet production.
60% of world millet area is in Africa. Asian countries occupy 35% of world millet area. European countries cover 4% of millet area and 1% is in North America.
The developing countries in Asia and Africa contribute around 93% of total millet production in the world. Asia alone contributes 43% of world millet production. European countries produce 6% and 1% is in North America.
Millet cultivating areas in Asia

  Country Area in 000 ha Production in 000mt
  China   1100   2200
  India   9800   9400
  Myanmar   215    150
  Nepal   258    283
  Pakistan   343    193

In Asia, millet is restricted almost exclusively to two countries, China and India, although Myanmar, Pakistan, and Nepal also produce small quantities. In China the major millet crop is foxtail millet.

Pearl Millet cultivating areas in India

India is the largest producer of this crop, both in terms of area (9.1 m ha) and production (7.3 m t), with an average productivity of 780 kg/ha during the last five years. As compared to the early 1980s, the pearl millet area in India declined by 26% during the last five years, but production increased by 19% owing to a 44% increase in productivity.

Pearl Millet cultivating areas in India

Three-year moving average for pearl millet area, production, and grain yield; and number of varieties (3-year total) based on ICRISAT-bred material in India.


Major pearl millet growing States are:



      State % Share Of All India Area
   Rajasthan          51.0
   Maharashtra          15.3
   Gujarat          10.6
   Uttar Pradesh            9.2
   Haryana            6.2
   Karnataka            3.0
   Madhya Pradesh            1.9
   Tamil nadu            1.4
   Andhra Pradesh            1.1



The productivity of Pearl millet

       State    Productivity (kg/ha)
     Haryana           1331
     Gujarat           1277

     Uttar Pradesh

     Madhya Pradesh           1150
     Tamil nadu           1144
     Andhra Pradesh             872
     Rajasthan             788
     Maharashtra             673
     Karnataka             532

Pearl millet cultivation is dispersed mainly during Kharif (Rainy) season across the country. It is also grown to a lesser extent during Rabi (Post-rainy) season in Andhra Pradesh , Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Pond cherry States. Summer pearl millet is popular in Gujarat State with very high yield exceeding 1.88 tons per ha with excellent grain quality. It is also grown during Summer season in Punjab, Rajasthan and Attain India, the yield of pearl millet varies from sate to state with varying rainfall and soil type, and also between seasons. The productivity imbalance in pearl millet is due to no rain/erratic rains/shifting of Pearl millet cultivation to marginal soils due to diversification of traditional area to high value crops across the country.  Only about 8% of pearl millet area is irrigated.

Area. Production and Yield of Pearl Millet in different states of   India during     2002-03

      State     Area(Million ha) Production(Million Tones) Yield(kg/ha) IrrigatedArea (%)
  Maharahtra     1.55      20.4   741       5
  Gujarat     0.94      12.4   965     18
  Uttar Pradesh     0.7        9.2  1277       5
  Rajasthan     3.2      42.1    224       5
  Haryana    0.52        6.8    893     24
  Tamil nadu    0.12        1.6  1348     12
  Karnataka    0.31        4.1    459       9
 Madhya Pradesh            0.15        1.9    758     0.1
  Andhra Pradesh    0.09        1.2    711     22
  Jammu & Kashmir    0.01        0.2    597     0.8


 Production constraints


  • Cultivation on marginal lands;

  • Unreliable rainfall tends to keep the use of inputs such as fertilizers to a minimum;

  • Loss of crop due to downy mildew and bird damage;

  • Limited commercial demand depress the incentive to use purchased inputs.


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