Top Indian States by Coarse Cereals and Millet Production

Coarse cereals are a broad sub-group of several short-duration warm weather (Kharif) crops such as Jowar (Sorghum), Bajra (Pearl Millet), Ragi (Finger Millet), Maize, Barley, oats, etc. had been traditionally an important component of the Indian food basket. They are used in food, fodder, fuel; value-added products, and also fast food products. 

India is one of the largest producers of Coarse cereals. Currently, India holds 4th position in the world in coarse cereal production after the USA, China & Brazil. In 2020, world Coarse Cereal production was 2,9961 million tonnes, led by China, India, and Russia collectively providing 38% of the world total. India’s Coarse Cereal Production increased from 36 million tons in FY 1980 to  53 million tons in FY 2021-22. 

Millets are a group of small-grained, hardy crops that are grown in warm climates around the world. They are a good source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and minerals. Millets in India are an important part of the food culture and have been cultivated for centuries.  They are primarily grown in arid and semi-arid regions, making millet crops crucial for food security. India is among the top millet-producing countries in the world, with China, Nigeria, and Mali. All these countries account for 55% of the total millet crops produced in the world. India is the biggest producer of millet in the world.

Let’s look at the Types of millet grown in India

  • Fox tail millet- Kangni
  • Pearl millet – Bajra
  • Proso Millet – Broomcorn/ Cheena
  • Sorghum Millet – Jowar
  • Buckwheat Millet
  • Little Millet – Suan/Kutki
  • Kodo millet – Varagu
  • Barnyard Millet – Sanwa/Oodalu
  • Finger Millet – Ragi
  • Browntop millet – Korale


Pearl Millet (Bajra)

Pearl millet, also known as Bajra, is among the most grown millets in India. It thrives in hot and dry conditions, making it suitable for cultivation in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. Bajra is a splendid source of iron, calcium, and essential amino acids. Its coarse grains are used to make rotis, porridge, and even fermented beverages.

Finger Millet (Ragi)

Finger millet, popularly known as Ragi, is cultivated across India, particularly in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha. It is a remarkable source of calcium, dietary fiber, and essential amino acids. Ragi is used in a variety of dishes like dosas, idlis, porridge, and baked goods. Its gluten-free nature makes it suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance.

Foxtail Millet (Kangni)

Foxtail millet, commonly referred to as Kangni, is grown in several states of India, including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. Kangni is rich in protein, dietary fiber, and minerals such as iron and magnesium. It is a versatile millet used in making porridge, upma, dosas, and even sweets.

Little Millet (Kutki)

Little millet, known as Kutki, is mainly cultivated in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra. This millet variety is a powerhouse of nutrients, including iron, calcium, and fibre. Kutki is often used in traditional South Indian dishes like Pongal, idlis, and dosas, as well as in biryanis and desserts.

Kodo Millet (Kodra)

Kodo millet, also called Kodra, is grown in regions with high rainfall, such as Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh. It is highly nutritious, containing high levels of dietary fibre, protein, and antioxidants. Kodra is used in making rotis, porridge, and upma, providing a healthy alternative to rice.

Barnyard Millet (Sanwa)

Barnyard millet, known as Sanwa, is cultivated in regions with low rainfall, such as Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Gujarat. It is rich in fibre, protein, and minerals like calcium and phosphorus. Sanwa is often used in making khichdi, pulao, upma, and even sweets like kheer.

Proso Millet (Cheena)

Proso millet, commonly called Cheena, is grown in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh. It is a nutritious millet variety rich in protein, B vitamins, and dietary fibre. Cheena is used in making rotis and porridge and as an ingredient in soups and salads.

Browntop Millet (Korale)

Browntop millet, also known as Korale, is grown in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. It is an exceptional source of protein, dietary fibre, and antioxidants. Korale is used in making dosas, idlis, and upma, and it is also used as a thickening agent for soups and stews.

Barnyard Grass Millet (Oodalu)

Barnyard grass millet, commonly called Oodalu, is grown in various parts of India, including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. It is a good source of dietary fibre, iron, and essential amino acids. Oodalu is used in making upma, idlis, and dosas and as a rice substitute in many dishes.

Browntop Millet (Andu Korale)

Browntop millet, also known as Andu Korale, is predominantly grown in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra. It is rich in fibre, protein, and essential minerals. Andu Korale is used in preparing dosas, idlis, upma, and porridge, providing a nutritious alternative to rice.

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Statewise Coarse Cereals Production

Rajasthan is the leading State in the production of coarse cereal producer states of India, with 8361 thousand tonnes or 16.29% of the total production in the year 20-21. Next comes Karnataka (15.45%), Maharashtra (11.85%), Madhya Pradesh (9.65%), and Uttar Pradesh (8.97%)

Let’s have a look at the States by Coarse Cereal Production

#State/Union TerritoryCoarse Cereal Prod. 2020-21 (thousand tonnes)% of Total
4Madhya Pradesh4953.79.65%
5Uttar Pradesh4604.48.97%
6Tamil Nadu34706.76%
7West Bengal2443.64.76%
8Andhra Pradesh2321.64.52%
13Himachal Pradesh764.51.49%
15Jammu & Kashmir519.61.01%
22Arunachal Pradesh107.90.21%
28NCT of Delhi8.40.02%
 ALL INDIA51323.8 

Source:  RBI Statistic 

Statewise Area by Millet / Coarse Cereals Production

In our country, coarse cereals are mainly grown in poor agroclimatic regions, particularly rainfed areas of the country. These crops are grown in areas with high temperatures and are called dryland crops because can be grown in areas with 50-100 cm rainfall. These crops are less sensitive to soil deficiencies and can be grown in an inferior alluvial or loamy soil.

Rajasthan has the largest area under coarse cereal cultivation with 6177 thousand Hectares. Next comes Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.

Let’s have a look at the Stateswise area Under Coarse Cereal Cultivation

#State/Union TerritoryArea 2020-21 (thousand Hectares)
4Uttar Pradesh2023
5Madhya Pradesh1947
6Tamil Nadu980.4
10Andhra Pradesh507
11West Bengal368.1
14Jammu & Kashmir314.4
15Himachal Pradesh291.4
21Arunachal Pradesh78
28NCT of Delhi4.3
 ALL INDIA24117.8

Source:  RBI Statistic 

Indian States by Millet Production | Coarse Cereals Production in India