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Bajara Introduction and Botanical Description

Bajara Introduction and Botanical Description

Bajara Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is the most widely grown type of millet. It is grown in Africa and the Indian subcontinent since prehistoric times. It is generally accepted that pearl millet originated in tropical Africa and was subsequently introduced into India. The earliest archaeological records in India dates back to 2000 BC, so domestication in Africa must have taken place earlier. Pearl millet is well adapted to production systems characterized by drought, low soil fertility, and high temperature. It performs well in soils with high salinity or low pH. Because of its tolerance to difficult growing conditions, it can be grown in areas where other cereal crops, such as maize or wheat, would not survive. It is an important forage crop of the arid and semi-arid regions of the country. It is fed to the cattle either as green or dry. It hybridizes very well with elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum.) which is believed to be of African origin. Bajra is highly drought tolerant and can grow well in the areas with a rainfall of 25–75 cm. This is grown as a kharif crop in northern parts and also grown as summer crop in southern part of the country.

Annual, in tufted clumps, the culms slender, 15–75 cm high; leaf blades linear or linearlanceolate, 5–30 cm long, 3–10 mm broad, glabrous or with some long white hairs toward base on upper surface; spike erect, cylindrical, golden-brown in colour, 1–15 cm long, 6– 12 mm broad; spikelets broadly oblong, 3–3.5 mm long, the upper lemma rugose; spikelets subtended by 4–12 bristles in each involucre, these are 3–10 mm long, finely antrorsely scabrous.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.