Finger millet or Eleusine coracana is a cereal crop in the arid and semiarid areas in Africa and Asia. It has the ability to withstand cultivation at altitudes over 2000 m above sea level, its high drought and heat tolerance, and the long storage time of the grains, makes it a sought after cereal crop.
Finger millet grows on different types of soils, including highly weathered tropical lateritic soils, tolerating soil salinity to some extent. A good drainage of the soils and moderate water-logging has to be optimal, as its ability to bear waterlogging is limited. Further, finger millet can tolerate moderately acidic soils, and alkaline soils
Calcium is essential in strengthening the bones of the growing children and aging people, and finger millet is an optimal source of calcium. Finger millet is good for regular consumption to maintain good bone health and to keep the diseases like osteoporosis at bay, and reduce the risk of fracture.
Finger millet is rich in niacin and an excellent source of Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Niacin, Potassium, and Antioxidants for maintaining the health of skin, blood, and all other vital organs. Further it is a popular weaning food for babies. Traditionally for babies from 6th month of age onwards, Porridge made from sprouted and malted finger millet flour has been traditionally used as a weaning food, due to aforesaid nutritional aspects.