Finger millet (Eleusine coracana) is an annual cereal high in calcium, zinc, iron, dietary fiber, phytates and protein. The crop is widely cultivated in Africa and South Asia, and used for producing beer, porridge, soups, bread, cakes and pudding.
Finger millet was domesticated about 5000 BP in the highlands of East Africa, and later spread into the tropics of Central and East Africa. The crop was later introduced to India around 3000 BP.
Genesys displays information for over 8,000 finger millet accessions. About 70% of these accessions are landraces, while less than 2% are wild relatives. The International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) maintains the largest finger millet collection, with over 6,500 accessions.
A global conservation strategy of finger millet and its wild relatives was published in 2012.
An update of the global conservation strategy for the conservation and use of genetic resources of selected millets was developed and published in 2022 as part of a 3-year project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The strategy includes a summary of ex situ holdings, their vulnerabilities and gaps in the collections. It also includes considerations on distribution, documentation of the collections and in situ and on farm management of millets and its wild relatives. Finally, it outlines priority actions to improve the conservation of the plant genetic resources of these crops.
Bramel, P., Giovannini, P., and M. Eshan Dulloo 2022. Global strategy for the conservation and use of genetic resources of selected millets. Global Crop Diversity Trust. Bonn, Germany