Finger millet production and utilization in Kenya
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Finger millet (Eleusine coracana) is an important subsistence cereal grown mainly in the relatively dry areas of Western and Lake Basin regions of Kenya. The cereal is traditionally used for making foods like thin porridge (Uji), stiff porridge (Ugali) and local brew (Busaa). This paper presents the situation regarding production, processing and utilization of finger millet in Kenya. Information was obtained through a review of the existing literature supplemented by informal interviews with some farmers. agricultural extension officers, researchers, grain merchants. market traders millers. The production figures between 1974 and 1989 showed a general decline for finger millet production in the country. Factors contributing to the decline in production include competition with other enterprises at the farm level. Marketing organization anJ commercial utilization of finger millet are not as developed as other cereals such as maize and wheat. There is a potential to increase preJuction and utilization of finger millet ill Kenya. To realize this potential, research work to increase yield and food quality needs to be supported and strengthened. An efficient marketing system needs to be developed and the use of finger millet in commercial food products needs to be explored and developed.