History of Pearl millet

argylesock says… Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is hugely important in resource-poor parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa but kids raised on it can lack iron. Here’s what I learned about a selectively bred, biofortified crop called Iron-Rich Pearl Millet.

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Pearl millet is the most widely grown type of millet. It has been grown in Africa and the Indian subcontinent since prehistoric times. The center of diversity, and suggested area of domestication, for the crop is in the Sahel zone of West Africa.

Recent archaeobotanical research has confirmed the presence of domesticated pearl millet on the Sahel zone of northern Mali between 2500 and 2000 BC. Cultivation subsequently spread and moved overseas to India. The earliest archaeological records in India date to around 2000 BC, and it spread rapidly through India reaching South India by 1500 BC, based on evidence from the site of Hallur. Cultivation also spread throughout eastern and southern Africa. Records exist for cultivation of pearl millet in the United States in the 1850s, and the crop was introduced into Brazil in the 1960s.

Pearl millet is well adapted to growing areas characterized by drought, low soil…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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