South African Indigenous Grains

This section on grain crops of South Africa looks at crops grown by subsistence and commercial farmers. These crops are often very suitable to dry conditions and in an increasingly water-starved environment, these drought-tolerant grains can provide a rich source of carbohydrates and sustenance. 

Indigenous to Africa, Sorghum is a warm-weather crop, suitable for dry areas and is used for animal feed, beer-making, malting and as a grain.

The section looks at indigenous grains in South Africa and includes the following crops deemed most important in South Africa by the Department: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) Grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea), considered a ‘grain-legume’ crop South Africa Online ® provides content in all 11 South Africa languages.

This will help farmers to gain knowledge in their mother tongue on producing indigenous grains for both human and animal feed.

Bambara Groundnut

Bambara groundnut is also called earth pea, jugo bean or nyimo beans. It is related to cowpeas and is used for both human and animal consump...more

Eating Pearl Millet

Pearl millet is a neglected, but highly nutritious grain cereal grown on a subsistence level in rural Africa. The seeds are eaten by humans,...more

Gluten Free Amaranth

Amaranth, (the Amaranthus species) also known as pigweed, cockscomb and hell’s curse in English, is both a common weed as well as an ancie...more

How to Eat Amaranth

Amaranth seed was a staple grain in Mexico, Guatemala and Peru thousands of years ago and was probably as popular as corn. The seeds were mi...more

How to Grow Pearl Millet

Pearl millet, grown mostly on a subsistence level in South Africa, it is easier to grow and less prone to pests and diseases than sorghum, m...more

How to Grow Sorghum

Sorghum is a fast-growing crop which requires high temperatures for germination and growth, yet too high temperatures reduce the yield....more

Sorghum in South Africa

Sorghum is also known as mabele thoro, Amazinba and Amabele. It is a tall growing grassy plant with flat leaves (like maize) and produces gr...more

What is Pearl Millet?

Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is a tall drought-tolerant grass growing up to 3 m in height with long blade-like leaves, extremely deep r...more