7 Largest Producers Of Millets In The World – 2024

Largest Producers Of Millets in the World

The production of millets is a crucial aspect of agriculture, significantly contributing to food production and nutrition worldwide. These tiny yet mighty millets have taken the center stage of the agriculture sector worldwide. There are some countries that have emerged as the largest producers of millets in the world over time, marking their name in the global stage. 

Largest Producers Of Millets in the World

The largest producers of millets in the world embody a fascinating tale of agricultural activities, new technology, innovations, advancements, etc. and are determined to provide millets worldwide. 

About Millets

Millets constitute the small seeded grains that come under the umbrella of grass seed groups. Millets constitute small sized seeds, grains, cereals, that are rich in nutrition value and are important for human fodder and living. Millets have been an important part of agriculture especially in the regions of Asia & Africa. 

what are millets

According to the market analysis, the estimated value of the millet market at the global level is expected to reach $11.53 billion in 2024, and along with that by 2029 the value estimated is $14.53 billion, growing at a CAGR percentage of 4.60%. 

  • Millets grow faster and provide a higher yield in areas where soil fertility is high and there is an optimum availability of moisture. 
  • Millets are rich in nutrition and dietary fiber. 
  • They are a good source of protein, micronutrients and phytochemicals. 
  • They also have gluten-free properties, which makes them ideal for those with celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities. 

Largest Producers Of Millets In The World

Sr.No.  Country Name Contribution Percentage to Global
Millet Production 
1. India 44% 
2.China 9%
3.Niger 7%
4.Mali 6%
5.Nigeria 6%
6.Sudan 5%
7.Ethiopia 4%
Largest Producers of Millets in the World

Note: The above countries in the table are ranked according to the latest reports of contribution of millets in the global market. 

1. India 

India is the largest producer of millets in the world currently, contributing around 42% to the global millet production. India for the recent year 2022-23 exported around $75.46 million tons of millets in the world, a higher number than its previous contribution of $62.95 millions tons in 2021-22. 

Apart from this, India is also the largest producer and exporter of cereals products in the world. Its cereal contribution at the global level recorded to be over $13,857.9 millions during FY23. 

Millets in India

In India, the main states producing millet are Rajasthan (27%), Karnataka (18%), Maharashtra (14%), Uttar Pradesh (12%), Gujarat (7%), Madhya Pradesh  (6%), Tamil Nadu (5%), Andhra Pradesh (4%), and so on. 

These states consist of a large number of millet farmers who grow the grain for both domestic and international markets. Addition to this, the major millet producing states, there are also a number of smaller millet producing regions in India.

2. China

China, another agricultural powerhouse that stands as the significant and major player in the global millet market. China contributes around 9% to the total millet production in the world, and produces over 2.7 millions tons of millets.

Millets in China

Apart from this, China also produces around 80% of the hybrid millet out in the world. The country’s vast lands, agriculture practices, advanced technology driven programs, new innovations, and its cultivation techniques contribute to its substantial growth and output in millet production. 

The cultivation of most millet is done in the north-central areas of China, which started about 10,000 years ago. Various regions across China, actively engage in millet farming, presenting the crop’s adaptability in various regions and climates. 

3. Niger 

Niger, the second largest producer of millets in the world, contributes around 7% to the global production of millet. In Niger, millets cover over 65% of the cultivated area and accounts for around three quarters of the country’s cereal production.

Niger is a self-sufficient country from an agricultural perspective, apart from having bad soil due to drought and desert. 

Millets in Niger

It produces around 2.15 million tons of millets globally and the main feed crops from Niger are pearl millet, rice, maize, sorghum, and cassava, in addition they also grow cow peas and onions for commercial purposes. 

Niger also produces a limited quantity of garlic, peppers, potatoes, and wheat. The millet peanuts are the main source of agricultural export revenue.

4. Mali

Next on the list of largest millet producers in the world is Mali, located in the interior western Africa. Mali contributes 6% to the total production of millet at a global level.

The major crop that Mali produces is Corn, which ranges around 3,659 tons, following it, rice is produced around 1820 tons, then comes the Millet section, which is being produced around 1,800 million tons.

Millets in Mali

Mali’s climate is characterized by three seasons, i.e. dry season from March to June, rainy and winter season that lasts from June to September, and an off or cold season from October to February with a drying Saharan wind.

The average temperature varies between 24°C in January and 35°C in May. The climate of Mali is a mix of arid and semi-arid regions. 

Millet variants like sorghum and pearl millet are very well cultivated and produced and are suitable according to Mali’s climatic conditions. 

5. Nigeria 

Nigeria, which contributes around 6% to the world production of millet, produced an estimated amount of 2 million metric tons of millet in 2023.

The demand of millet in Nigeria increased over the years, in 2022 it was 6.4 million metric tons, a higher number recorded as compared to its national production of millet in 2021, which was 2.0 million metric tons. 

millets in Nigeria

Between the production of millet in Nigeria between the years 2005 and 2023, the output of millet in 2008 reached the top peak with 9 million metric tons, however after that the pattern of increased production of millet in the country declined.

For the following years after 2008, Nigeria recorded the least number for its mullet production, and latest recorded a contribution of 6%. 

Pearl millet, which is commonly called Millet, is one of the important cereal crops which is mainly grown in northern parts of Nigeria.

The crop grows and thrives well in locations where rainfall does not last long enough to deteriorate  its development. Over 60% and 30% of croplands in Nigeria are devoted to millet in Borno and Adamawa States, respectively.

6. Sudan 

The next on the list that is among the largest producers of millets in the world is Sudan. Sudan, which lies at the crossroads of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, bordering the Red Sea.

Sudan contributed around 5% to the total production of millet in the world. It has produced around 1.50 millions tons of millet. 

Millets in Sudan

Sudan has a temperature ranging between 26°C and 32°C, with summer temperatures in the north often exceeding 43°C. The rainfall in Sudan is unreliable and erratic, with great variation experienced between northern and southern regions.

The country’s main crop production includes sesame, gum Arabic, sorghum, sugarcane, cotton. The main crops that are grown are sorghum and millet, with smaller amounts of wheat, corn and barley.

7. Ethiopia 

Another top name among the largest producers of millets in India. Ethiopia has its contribution of 4% in the production of millets globally and has produced about 942 million tons of millets in 2023, and is estimated to produce 1,100 million tons of millets in 2024. 

Millets in Ethiopia

Finger millet, which is commonly called millet, is predominantly grown in the semi-arid tropics in Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s diverse and varied climate allows cultivation and production of millet variants across the country.

Finger millet is one of the major cereal crops in Ethiopia in total area and production after crops like tef , maize , sorghum, wheat and barley. 

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Summing Up: Largest Millet Producers In The World

The global landscape of millet production is diverse and fascinating. It encompasses various countries that have emerged as the top and largest producers of millets globally over time, contributing to both local economy and food security at a global stage. 

The efforts and practices of these countries not only cater to the food security needs at domestic level, but also contribute to global food supply. 

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Published By: Aashita Singh
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