Finger millet (Ragi) cultivation in Assam


Finger millet is also known as African millet, koracan, ragi (India). It is an important staple food in parts of eastern and central Africa and India. Finger millet is an important cereal in Karnataka. It is extensively grown in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Gujrat and Maharashtra and in the hilly regions of Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, with a total area of 2.5 million hectares and 2.2 million tonnes of production.

The height of cultivars varies from 40 cm to 1 m, and the spike length ranges from 3 to 13 cm. The color of grains may vary from white through orange-red deep brown and purple, to almost black. The grains are smaller than those of pearl millet, and the mean I 000-seed weight is about 2.6 g.

Scientific Name- Eleusine Coracana


Varieties of Finger millet

INR 1008, TANU-9 promising varieties collected from BHU, Banaras and local varieties.


Plant type

Erect, medium tall and significantly higher yielder than local variety



80 – 90 days.


Grain yield

18-20 q/ha (transplanted)


Other Characters

Average length of fingers/panicle 6-7 cm


Soil Type

Sandy loam


Time of sowing of Finger millet

One-month-old seedlings are to be transplanted in the 1st week of September.



For seed sowing a raised (10 – 25 cm) seed bed of size 10 × 1.25m with 30 cm gap between the beds should be prepared; 20-30 kg cow dung/bed should be applied and mixed thoroughly with the soil. 150g of seeds should be sown per bed.


Seed rate

12 kg is transplanting one hectare.



25 cm × 15 cm.


Manures and Fertilizers used in finger millet cultivation

Apply FYM/Compost @ 5t/ha or 6q/bigha.

Nutrient Requirement Form Fertilizer requirement
    kg/ha kg/bigha
N 40 Urea 88 12.00
P2O5 20 SSP 125 16.50
K2O 20 MOP 32 4.25


Half of N and full doses of FYM, P2O 5 and K2O should be applied as basal and the remaining half of N to be top dressed 30 days after transplanting.


First weeding at 20-25 days after transplanting and subsequent weeding as and when necessary.


Plant Protection

There is no major pest and disease in the marua crop. However, tricycle azole/ediphenphos/carbendazim @ 0 . 1 percent significantly controls blast disease which occurs sometimes.

Harvesting of Finger millet

Harvesting should be done when 75-80% of the panicles turn yellowish.


It is used as a substitute for rice by the farmers. It is also used for making porridge, sattu, akhoi and preparation of flour and beverage.



  • Assam Agriculture University.
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