Manor ragi growing states are Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chattisgarh and Gujarat.
Finger millet is grown in all the cropping seasons in different parts of the country. More than 90 per cent of the area is under rainfed conditions, grown during Kharif season.
|Name of the state||Season|
Early kharif (May - August)
Late kharif (July - November)
Late Rabi (November - March)
|Bihar||Kharif (June - September)|
|Chattisgarh||Kharif (June - Sept)|
|Jharkhand||Kharif (June - September)|
|Gujarat||Kharif (June - September)|
|Himachal Pradesh||Kharif (April - September)|
Kar or Early Kharif (April - August)
Kharif (July - November)
Late kharif (August - November)
Rabi (October - September)
Summer (January - May)
||Kharif (May - September)|
|Madhya Pradesh||Kharif (June - October)|
||Kharif (June - September)|
Maghazipattam (December - April)
Chitharaipattam (April - August)
Adipa ttam (June - September)
Purattasipattam (September. - December)
|Uttar Pradesh||Kharif (June - September)|
|Uttaranchal||Kharif (June - October)|
Fall ploughing is advantageous for moisture conservation. In the month of April or May, one deep ploughing with mould board plough , followed by ploughing with wooden plough twice is necessary. Before sowing secondary tillage with cultivator and multiple tooth hoe to prepare smooth seed bed is necessary. Minor land smoothening before sowing helps in better in- situ moisture conservation.
Seeds are very small (400 seeds / g) and take 5 -7 days to germinate. Hence good seeds, land preparation helps in better germination, minimize weeds problem and effective soil moisture conservation. In Uttaranchal where frequent ploughing oper ations are difficult to carry out effective digging and turning of soil, removing perennial weeds, land smoothening, providing inward slope with a shallow drain helps in taking out excess rain water.
Line sowing is beneficial - helps in inter cultivation and control of weeds effectively. Maintenance of optimum plant population of 4- 5 lakh plants per ha is important.
Finger millet attracts several pests of which army worm, cutworm, stemborer, leaf aphid, grasshoppers, grey weevil, shootfly and ear caterpillars are important.
Finger millet is affected by a variety of diseases of which blast caused by Pyriculariagrisea is the major problem. The disease is quite severe in kharif crop at all the growth stages. The losses caused will be more if the disease appears in the nursery and on the ears affecting the neck and fingers.
In recent years, brown spot caused by Drechsleranodulosa is gaining importance. Its damage could be severe if the crop is subjected to drought or nutrition deficiency. The disease can be effectively managed by proper nutrition and water management. Need based spraying of Mancozeb or Saaf (0.2%) can be resorted to.
Other diseases affecting the crop are mottle streak & streak virus, foot rot ( Sclerotiumrolfsii ), downy mildew or green ear (Sclerosporamacrospora ), grain smut ( Melanopsichiumeleusinis ). Besides, at higher altitudes Cercopspora a leaf spot and in the coastal regions sheath blight ( Rhizoctonia sp.) also appear, but are of minor importance.
The crop matures in about 120 - 135 days depending on the tract and the variety. The ear heads are harvested with ordinary sickles and straw is cut close to ground.
Yield : It is possible to harvest 20 - 25 qtl/ha of grain and 60 - 80 qtl/ha of fodder. The Straw of finger millet makes nutritious fodder.
Ragi is a rich source of calcium, iron, protein, fiber and other minerals. The cereal has low fat content and contains mainly unsaturated fat. It is easy to digest and does not contain gluten. Finger millet is considered one of the most nutritious cereals which helps in keeping weight in control, maintaining bone health, lowering blood cholesterol, control anaemia and for diabetics because of lower glycemic response i.e lower ability to increase blood sugar level. Ragi is rich in amino acids which are vital in normal functioning of body and are essential for repairing body tissues. If consumed regularly, Ragi could help in keeping malnutrition, degenerative diseases and premature aging at bay. Green ragi is recommended for conditions of blood pressure, liver disorders, asthma, lactating mother and heart weakness. Its high intake could increase quantity of oxalic acid in the body. Therefore, it is not advised to patients having kidney stones. Finger Millet can be value added to prepare cakes, roti, dosa, porridge, upma, pitha, halwa, biscuits from the powder of Ragi.