AFRICAN CEREALS

The most extensively cultivated cereals are wheat, barley, oat, rye, rice, maize, sorghum and different kinds of millet. Sorghum and Tef are the only cereal that exclusively originated from  Africa. Barley (Ethiopian barley according Ehret), Rice and millet are of both African and Asian origin. Maize is native to the Americas. all others cereals originated from Europe and Asia.

Most cereals of non-African origin have been extensively and intensively research and improved. Despite all these attentions only wheat is mostly used for human consumption. The other non-African cereals are mostly used for animal feed and other purposes: maize is a cheap form of starch and is a major energy source for animal feed; rye is used to produce crisp bread and alcohol, and it is used as animal feed; oats have mainly been grown for animal feed; barley is mainly grown for animal feed (especially for pigs), for malting and brewing in the manufacture of beer, and for distilling in whisky manufacture.

African Cereals

Africa is the center of origin and still today the major producing area for sorghum (dawa), and four major millet species: pearl millet (Jero: the most widely grown in 76% area), finger millet (Tamba: 19% area), tef (9%) and fonio (acha: 4%). Sorghum and millet are particularly major contributors of overall calorie intake in semi-arid parts of Africa where they are majorly staple food. It is documented that Sorghum and millet give up to 85% of daily caloric intake in Burkina Faso and Niger. Teff is mostly grown and consumed in Ethiopia. Millet is consumed as staple food (78%), drinks and other uses (20%). The common foods from these cereals are koko/akamu, fura (poridge), kunu (drink), tuwo(swallow), masa (cake), etc. Teff is mostly in Ethiopia as Injera (flat bread)

 

surfing web, Romano Pisciotti

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