Botanical Name: Paspalum scrobiculatum
Species: P. scrobiculatum
Synonyms: Panicum frumentaceum Rottb.
Common Names: Kodo millet, Koda millet, Kedua, Jane, Kodo.
The plant is called Arikelu in the Telugu language, Varagu in Tamil, Varak in Malayalam, Arka in Kannada, and Kodra in Hindi.
Habitat: Paspalum scrobiculatum is an annual grain that is grown primarily in Nepal and also in the India,Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and in West Africa from where it originated. It is grown as a minor crop in most of these areas, with the exception of the Deccan plateau in India where it is grown as a major food source. It is a very hardy crop that is drought tolerant and can survive on marginal soils where other crops may not survive, and can supply 450–900 kg of grain per hectare. Kodo millet has large potential to provide nourishing food to subsistence farmers in Africa and elsewhere.
Kodo millet is a monocot and an annual grass that grows to heights of approximately four feet. It has an inflorescence that produces 4-6 racemes that are 4–9 cm long. Its slender, light green leaves grow to be 20 to 40 centimeters in length. The seeds it produces are very small and ellipsoidal, being approximately 1.5 mm in width and 2 mm in length; they vary in colour from being light brown to a dark grey. Kodo millet has a shallow root system which may be ideal for intercropping.
Kodo millet is a loosely tufted, shallow rooting grass which can reach a height of 30 – 90cm depending upon variety. The wild form is a short-lived perennial plant, but forms cultivated for their seed are generally treated as annuals.The plant is cultivated as a minor cereal crop in some parts of the tropics, particularly India.
Edible Uses: Seed – eaten cooked, it can be used like rice, boiled or parched and ground into flour. It can also be popped like popcorn. The grain contains about 60% carbohydrate and 10% protein.
Aqueous decoction of grains (ca. 15 ml) mixed with the freshly prepared root paste of ‘Amolsijh’ (Hemidesmus indicus) (ca. 8
gm) is given as a tonic to women to regain their health after childbirth by the Rabhas. Freshly prepared root decoction (ca. 10 ml) with
black pepper (Piper nigrum) paste (ca. 5 gm) and a pinch a common salt is given twice a day before lunch and dinner as a tonic during
typhoid fever by the Santals.
Other Uses: The grains are used as a fermenting agent for preparation of country liquor.
Propagation: Seed – it germinates best at a temperature of 20-35°c. Sow in situ on a well-prepared, very fine seedbed, only just covering the seed.
The seed only remains viable for 12 months
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.