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Foxtail Millet Maps and Statistics*

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Note - because all different millets are grouped together for statisitic purposes the Foxtail Millet and Pearl Millet nutrition ans statistics pages are similar or the same.)

(For best viewing use Netscape/Mozilla)

Figure 1*
Figure 2*
*Global Millet Production Map

Figure 1 (above left) shows production contribution of the top 10 Millet producing countries in 2005. Figure 2 (above right) shows all 2005 millet production records from countries producing at least 1 Metric ton. Together these countries produce more than 88% of the global millet. (The remaining 11% comes from countries producing less than 1 Mt each) .

Global Millet Production

Millets are grouped together when reporting global millet production, therefore it is difficult to determine the production amounts of each individual genus. As a general estimate millet production is broken down into the following percentages:(4)

50% - Pearl Millet (Pennisetum glaucum)
30% - Proso ( Panicum miliaceum) and Foxtail (Setaria italica)
10% - Finger millet (Eleusine coracana)
10% - Other: incl. Barnyard Millet (Echinochloa crus-galli) and Kodo Millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum)

Foxtail millet is the most common (and important) millet in China, and is one of the main food crops for the poor in dry northern China (2, 6). Due to a shorter life cycle and efficient use of water, it is well suited to these drier areas although once harmed by drought it doesn't recover well, due to a shallow root system (1, 6, 9). In the US, foxtail millet is primarily grown for birdseed, animal feed, and forages rather than human consumption (3, 6, 8).

Country Contributions World Millet Production

Figure 3 shows the contribution of the top producing countries to global production. Note that China, India and Nigeria produce the majority of the world's millet crop. Over the past 50 years, the percentage of the world millet production in China has significantly decreased, while Nigeria has increased.

Figures 4 and 5 show the metric tonnes of global millet production. Overall, millet production has fluctuated but remained on a steady average, (Figure 5) while the land mass dedicated to millet production has decreased (Figure 4).

Figure 3*
Figure 4*
Figure 5*

For more information on global general millet production and trends in foxtail millet, see:
Millet - Production, Consumption, Exports, and Imports Statistics
Major World Crop Areas and Climatic Profiles
Millet Production
Sorghum and Millets in Human Nutrition
Biotechnology, Breeding and Seed Systems for African Crops

* FAOSTAT data, 2005 (5)


  1. Baker, R. D., (2003) Millet Production (Guide A-414) [PDF], New Mexico State University
  2. Baltensperger, D.D. 2002. Progress with proso, pearl and other millet
  3. Center for New Crops & Plant Products, Purdue University, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Foxtail Millet data 1/31/2006
  4. Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), Research & Impact: Areas of Research:Millet
  5. *FAOSTAT 2005 Data
  6. Hungarian grass. (n.d.) (2005). Retrieved March 30 2006 from The Free Dictionary
  7. The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) data, Retrieved [3/30/2006], from ITIS.
  8. Oelke, E.A., Oplinger, E.S., Putnam, D.H., Durgan, B.R., Doll, J.D. and Undersander, D.J. (1990) Millets, in Alternative Field Crops Manual
  9. Railey, Karen. Whole Grains: Millet
  10. Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. Crops: Millet: What is Millet?
  11. Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. Crops: Millet: Pearl Millet
  12. UK CropNet, data 02-Nov-2005
  13. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: (30 March 2006)
  14. USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database, 6 March 2006 ( Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
  15. Wikipedia contributors, 'Millet', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 April 2006, 15:43 UTC, [accessed 3 April 2006]
  16. Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), Research & Impact: Areas of Research: MilletResearch & Impact: Areas of Research: Millet