Introducing our next fabulous Future 50 Food…millet! Learn all about the origins, sustainability and nutritional value of this exciting cereal grain.
Millet is a cereal grain that has been cultivated in Africa going back as far as 10 000 years. It was also consumed as a staple in Asia before the nation began to cultivate rice.
You might have heard about millet, but by another name; it has a variety of local names, including: uphoko, nyalothi, ntweka, amabele, unyaluthi, unyawoti, unyawothi, inyawuthi, muvhoho, babala, manna, leotja, mhunga and bulrush.
Millet thrives in dry soils and has a natural resistance to insects. This makes the hardy crop ideal for cultivation in areas that are under economic pressure and often plagued by drought. Locally, millet is produced in the Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State provinces. African countries like Kenya and Uganda have seen a resurgence in millet, but it is reported that South Africans’ sales of millet slowed by 67% between 1994 and 2009.
Millet is naturally gluten free and packed with goodness. They contain gut-healthy fibre to help with digestion, magnesium for bone health and manganese, a trace element that is protective against routine cell damage.
As one of our Future 50 Foods, you can trust that millet is good for you and better for the planet.