*Shaliha.A1, Shanmugapriya. R1, Shiva .P1, Akalya Shanmugam1,2, *

Millets, a staple food in a major part of the world, are making a comeback. The earliest meals consumed by humans are millets, which may also be the first cereal grain to be domesticated. It belongs to the family of Graminae. Research made in 2015 reveals that the world’s millet production accounts for 37 million tonnes. Finger millet alone contributes 81% of total millet production. Millets have two major domains major and minor millets.  Sorghum and Bajra are considered major millet little millet, barnyard millet, finger millet, proso millet brown top millet,  foxtail millet, and Kodo millet. These are popularly known as “poor man’s crop”. They are not traded on global markets, and in other regions of the world, they are not even traded on local markets.“Brown top millet” will come under minor millets which are still hidden even if it has a good nutrition profile. Brown top millet scientifically called Brachiariaramosa will grow in warm and dry areas and will give yield annually. Southern India’s sparse and erratic rainfall and poor and marginal soils are ideal growing environments for brown top millet, which has its origins in Southeast Asia. It is well-known as a short-duration crop because of its higher yield per unit of time, lower input needs, and tolerance to drought and shade. It is also well-suited to a variety of soil types and can withstand extreme moisture stress. The browntop millet is named korale in Kannada, Andakorra in Telugu, and Bundelkhand in north-central India popular in Tamil. The biggest threat to agriculture and food security globally, particularly for the poor, is posed by challenges like climate change, water scarcity, increasing food prices, and other socioeconomic repercussions. As a result, other nutrient-rich dietary sources are required. Brown shirt Small seeded grasses that are farmed as grain crops in dry areas of temperate, tropical, and subtropical climates are known as millets. However, it hasn’t yet become popular because consumers aren’t aware of it and food processing corporations aren’t interested in it. Brown top offers a wide range of potential uses. This article will discuss “How this forgotten crop will be used and utilized well??” and Its importance.

Production of millets in India:

According to the graph given below, India produced 17.8 million tonnes of millet overall in 2018. despite a reduction in millet output overall in years before 2016, production dramatically increased from 2016 to 2018. However, between 2013 and 2017, less land was planted with millet. due to rising demand in urban centers, millet production increased by 9.65 percent in 2016-17 and 9.76 percent in 2017-18. It is clearly shown that millet has seen a four to five-fold growth in overall sales over the past 1.5 years. From the data on past production of millets from 2009 to 2018, the estimated production of brown top millet from the year 2019 is above 4,000 MT and in the year 2024, it is 12,000 tonnes reported by the Directorate of millets development, department of agriculture, cooperation, and farmers welfare.

Figure 1. Production of millets in MT from 2009 to 2018 [1]

Harvesting specification of browntop millet:

A warm-season annual plant, browntop millet has a height range of 1 to 3 feet. The smooth stems’ pubescent nodes enable them to stand upright or climb from a decumbent base. The leaves are 0.6 to 1.8 cm wide, 22 to 180 mm long, and smooth on both surfaces. The inflorescence has stalked flowers on a single axis and is open, spreading, and indeterminate.  It has white blooms and 3–15 inflorescences. The ellipsoid, tan seeds need around 60 days to reach maturity.

Nutritional content:

Brown top millets are a great source of fiber and protein when compared to other minor millets next to proso and foxtail millet. Brown top millet is considered to have a low calorific value because it only contains 338 kcal of energy, is gluten-free, has a good nutritional profile, and is a good source of fiber, zinc, and ferrous content. The nutrition composition of brown top millet is given in table 2. This comparison has clearly shown that brown top millet has a considerably high amount of nutritions like protein as 3rd in millets, lowest fat content, high mineral content, and stands first in the fiber content than other millets. Brown top millet is nutritionally richer than other millet.

Table 1 Nutritional contents of brown top millet [2]


Nutritional composition

Amount of nutrients  per 100g of grain



























Brown top millet with other minor millets:

 A comparison of the nutritional content of brown top millet with other minor millets is shown in table 2. The comparison has clearly shown that brown top millet has a considerably high amount of nutrition.

Table 2.nutritional comparison of brown top millet with other millets [3]










Finger millet








Proso millet








Foxtail millet








Little millet








Kodo millet








Barnyard millet








Brown top millet










Brown top millet has nutritional and cultivational benefits which include,

Cultivational benefits:

  1. Cover crop: The South-East, brown top millet is utilized to control root-knot nematode numbers in pepper and tomato crops. It is raised as a catch crop with a rapid growth rate in between commodity crops.
  2. Critical area planting: For controlling erosion, brown top millet is utilized as a quick-maturing cover crop. In the Southeast, it serves as a nurse crop until a perennial grass cover takes hold. It is a crucial plant for the removal of contaminants from polluted soils due to its capacity to accumulate considerable levels of zinc and lead in root and stem tissues.
  3. Wildlife: A lot of seeds are produced by brown top millet. Game birds that are drawn to the nutrient-rich millet seed are fed on these seeds in food plots. One of the few millet varieties that can be flooded for ducks or planted in dry places for domestic and other wild animals is brown top millet[4].

Health benefits:

  1. Consumption of brown top millet regularly leads to a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, duodenal ulcers, and hyperglycemia or diabetes.
  2. It has a good source of natural fiber as compared to other food grains.
  3. It is gluten-free and rich in nutrients that are essential for the body.
  4. Due to the presence of fiber in large quantities it helps to cure several lifestyle diseases.
  5. Antioxidants in Brown top millet prevent gastric ulcers and colon cancers.
  6. Brown top millet acts as a Probiotic for the respiratory system.
  7. It is very useful for bronchitis and Asthma.
  8. It hydrates our skin and can look younger
  9. It helps to boost immunity.
  10. Taste of the brown top millet is better when compared to rice.


Browntop millet might be an alternate crop for farmers as a result of climate change. Brown top millet can be grown easily, but it might be challenging to process because of its tough seed coat. As a result, one quintal of Korale seeds only yields 40–50 kg of grain to farmers. The seed and grain used to be separated using grinding stones. Today, finger millet is processed in flour mills rather than grinding stones, and Korale seeds are processed there instead. The size of these grains is relatively small, so one should use caution when processing millets in the current flour mills. After processing, some bran will still be present in the rice. This is further processed by winnowing. Similar to how small Korale rice is, it is difficult to separate the stones. As a result, Korale farmers are experiencing a processing bottleneck, and efforts must be made to develop efficient processing equipment. When groundnut replaced browntop millet thirty years ago, it upscaled very quickly because of its ease of processing, resulting in a higher income than Korale.  Accumulation of nitrate frequently takes place in a brown top millet which is harmful to cattle. The method of reduction of such toxins present in brown top millet is under study. This millet has a high relative cost. Brown top millet has undigestiblefiber, leading to diarrhea and other digestive issues [5].

 Applications and value-added products in millets:

Brown top millet has a wide range of uses in the food and other bioenergy industries. Brown top millet is used to make fuel pellets, biogas, bioethanol, and biofuel. There are several uses for it in the food business, such as gluten-free bread dough, milk made from this millet, which is very nutritious, dosa and idly batter, and rotis. Different standard food processes, such as explosive or cannon puffing, hot and cold extrusion, mixing, and baking, are suitable for brown top millet value-added goods. Additionally, instant mixtures in powder form are made. Commercial products available in the market are vermicelli, noodles, cookies, sooji, brown top ghee biscuits, bars, flakes, flour, and brown top millet mixed with other seeds for example pumpkin seeds and flax seeds to increase both the nutrition and commercial value of the products [6].

Future perspective:

The problems in the drylands are complex and include low crop productivity and income, threats from the unpredictable monsoon, a lack of water, and uncertainty in farm output. Smallholder farming is also prevalent, with little investment made, and farmers’ livelihoods and nutritional security are generally poor. Under these circumstances, incorporating brown-top millet into the cropping system may be the answer to a myriad of issues in dry environments. However, not enough research has been done on the crop, which calls for targeted research interventions on the creation of improved cultivars, good agricultural practice (GAP), integrated plant protection, processing and value addition, and market linkage. 29 germplasms have so far been gathered by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Indian Institute of Millet Research (ICAR-IIMR, 2016–17). The introduction of suitable cultivars will undoubtedly increase productivity. Under the All India Coordinated Crop Improvement Project, research on brown-top millet has already begun in our nation (AICRP). The proportion of value-added goods like biscuits, cookies, and idli mixes may easily be standardized (Roopa, 2015). To encourage millet production, value addition, and consumption, the government of Odisha introduced a unique program in 2017 called the Odisha Millet Mission. Recently, the Government of Odisha decided to include these Nutri-cereals in various schemes like the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Mid-day Meal (MDM), and public distribution system. Approximately 50,000 farmers in 14 districts have been encouraged to adopt millet cultivation (Orissa Post, 2019). In addition to all of the aforementioned potential uses, brown top millet has a significant amount of fiber that can be extracted and used in a variety of pharmaceutical and fiber fortification processes in various products. This millet can also be used to obtain protein isolate to meet the growing protein needs of the human population [7].


Brown top millet, a small millet that can be grown on degraded soils with very little water, is once again being grown by farmers. Brown top millet has a good nutritional value. Brown top millet is gluten-free, loaded with vital minerals, and delicious in addition to being healthy. When it is a plentiful supply of natural fiber versus other grains. Since korale contains 12.5 percentfiber, it can be used as a treatment to treat ailments brought on by a sedentary lifestyle. In addition, it is used as a cover crop in plantation crop groves, to prevent soil erosion, and to increase straw output. To achieve nutrition security, it is essential to encourage the farming community to cultivate this crop. This millet can be recommended for daily consumption. India, a sizable agricultural nation, has a solution that, with only small adjustments, may be applied to any other nation. It appears that the best solution to the matter at hand may still be our neighborhood millets. Regular millet eaters have been shown to have lower rates of diabetes, peptic ulcers, and heart disease. It is renowned for quickly producing fodder.

1Food Processing Business Incubation Centre, National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management – Thanjavur, India

2Centre of Excellence in Non-Thermal Processing, National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management – Thanjavur, India

*Corresponding Author: Email Address: akalya@iifpt.edu.in (AkalyaShanmugam)


  1. Directorate of Millets Development, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer’s Welfare.
  2. Singh, S., Suri, S., & Singh, R. (2022). Potential and unrealized future possibilities of browntop millet in the food sector. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2022.974126.

  1. https://www.millets.res.in/millets_info.php
  2. Bhat, Sujata. (2018). Browntop Millet- A Review. Agricultural Research & Technology: Open Access Journal. 14.

DOI: 10.19080/ARTOAJ.2018.14.555937.

  1. https://leisaindia.org/return-of-the-forgotten-crop-brown-top-millet
  2. Roopa, O. M. (2015). Nutritional analysis and development of value-added products from brown-top millet. (dissertation/master’s thesis), Department of Food Science and Nutrition, UAS, Bengaluru, India.
  3. Maitra, Sagar. (2020). The potential horizon of brown-top millet cultivation in drylands: A review. 55. 57-63. 10.31830/2454-1761.2020.012.