Botanical name: Cenchrus americanus Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Pennisetum glaucum, Panicum indicum
Bajra is the most widely grown species of millet, grown in India and Africa since prehistoric times. It is now generally accepted that pearl millet originated in Africa and that it was introduced into India from there. Leaves are narrow and linear or linear-lanceolate. Flowers are born on majestic yellow-green spikes, which turn brownish as they mature. A purple variety is popular as an oranmental plant. Bajra is well adapted to production systems characterized by low rainfall, low soil fertility, and high temperature, and thus can be grown in areas where other cereal crops, such as wheat or maize, would not survive. In its traditional growing areas, pearl millet is the basic staple for households in the poorest countries and among the poorest people. The grain is consumed in the form of leavened or unleavened breads, porridges, boiled or steamed foods, and (alcoholic) beverages.
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