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Finger millet

Finger millet is a valuable source of food and income for thousands of families across the country. Millet is mainly grown in Northern, Eastern and some parts of Western Uganda. It is grown by the households on a small-scale basis using hoes and pangas as the main tools of farming. Millet production volumes could go if the small-scale farmers used tractors for tilling the land and also adopted modern methods of millet farming.

Production volumes
The production in metric tons from key millet production districts are estimated as follows:
Soroti            30,000
Tororo           26,000,
Ntungamo      20,000
Amuru           13,000

Uses of finger millet
The millet has the following uses:
• The crop is grown for both food
• It is a raw material for brewing of local beer.
• The flour is used as porridge for children and adults
• The flour can be used in the production of biscuits, bread and cakes
• It is a source of cash for the households
• The millet grass can be used for mulching and for making silage for cows.
• It can stored hence it is a good commodity for fighting hunger.

Areas of improvement in Finger Millet growing
Government attention to the following matters would increase the quality and production volumes:
• Financial backing to the farmers to access tractors for clearing the land
• Availing clean seeds for planting
• Advising the farmers on the modern methods of farming including row planting
• Availing farmers’ collective cleaning, drying and storage facilities.
• Establishing strong links between the farmers and the processors
• Control of birds which destroy the millet.

Role of Co-operative Societies
Three hundred members of Katweyombeke Cooperative Society in Kibale District dry their millet on smooth rocks and supply clean millet for making millet flour. The millet flour is used by processors for blended with soya or cassava flour. The millet is increasingly being recognised for its nutritional qualities being higher in calcium and protein than most other grains

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