poor. When pearl millet partially or completely replaced rice, the nutritive value increased appreciably.

Studies conducted on children showed that all the subjects fed diets based on pearl millet maintained positive balance with respect to nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. The protein's apparent digestibility was about 53 percent, an amount close to that for finger millet and sorghum proteins, but less than that of rice protein (65 percent). It was also found that pearl millet could replace 25 percent of the rice in a child's diet without reducing the amount of nitrogen, calcium, or phosphorus its body absorbed.


Botanical Name

Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.10


Pennisetum typhoides (Burm.f.) Stapf and Hubbard, P. americanum (L.) Leeke, P. spicatum Roem and Schult.

Common Names

Angola: massango

Arabic: duhun, dukhon

English: pearl millet, bulrush millet, cattail millet, candle millet

Ethiopia: bultuk (Oromo), dagusa (Amharic)

French: mil du Soudan, petite mil, mil

India: bajra, bajri, cumbu, sajje

Kenya: mi/mawele, mwere (Kikuyu)

Mali: sanyò, nyò, gawri

Malawi: machewere (Ngoni), muzundi (Yao), uchewere, nyauti (Tumbuka)

Niger: hegni (Djerma), gaouri (Peul), hatchi (Haussa)

Nigeria: gero (Hausa), dauro, maiwa, emeye (Yoruba)

Shona: mhunga, mhungu

Sotho: nyalothi

Sudan: dukhon

Swahili: uwele, mawele

Swati: ntweka

Zambia: mawele, nyauti, uchewele (Nyanja), bubele, kapelembe, isansa, mpyoli (Bemba)

Zimbabwe: mhunga (Chewa), u/inyawuthi (Ndebele)

Zulu: amabele, unyaluthi, unyawoti, unyawothi


The widely used name Pennisetum americanum is not taxonomically valid, according to most (but not all) authorities.

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