What Is Millet in World History?

Millet, also known as a small-grain cereal, has been an essential part of human civilization for thousands of years. It is believed to have originated from Africa, and then gradually spread across the globe.

Millet is a versatile crop that can be used for food, feed, and even fuel. In this article, we will explore the history of millet in different parts of the world.

Origins of Millet

Millet is one of the oldest crops cultivated by humans. Archaeological evidence suggests that it was being grown in China as far back as 10,000 years ago. Millet was also grown in Africa and India around the same time.

Millet in Asia

Millet has been a staple food in many Asian countries for centuries. In China, millet was one of the most important grains before rice became dominant. It was used to make porridge or flour for making bread and noodles.

In India, millet has been an important crop since ancient times. It was grown in dry regions where other crops couldn’t survive. Millet is still widely consumed in India today as a staple food.

Millet in Africa

Millet has played a significant role in African agriculture and cuisine for thousands of years. It is a drought-resistant crop that can grow in areas with low rainfall. It is a staple food for many African communities and is used to make porridge or fermented drinks.

Millet in Europe

Millet was introduced to Europe during the Middle Ages but didn’t gain widespread popularity until the 19th century when it was used as animal feed. Today, millet is still not as popular in Europe as it is in Asia and Africa.

Benefits of Millet

Millet is a nutrient-rich grain that offers several health benefits. It is a good source of protein, fiber, and essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. Millet is also gluten-free, making it an excellent choice for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.


Millet has been an important crop in human history for thousands of years. It has sustained communities in Africa and Asia during times of drought and famine. Today, millet remains a staple food in many parts of the world and offers several health benefits.