A principal component of the human diet – Cereal has been critical to the survival of billions of people in the world. Wheat, rice, maize, barley, oats, rye, millet, and sorghum are the staples which form a significant portion of the daily diet. Do you know that more than 50% of daily caloric intake of all human beings is from cereal grain consumption? In fact, for weight management, it is suggested by many dietitians to consume ‘oats’ for breakfast, as they are nutrient-rich.
Developing countries depend more on cereal for their nutrition, in comparison to the developed world. However, even if the affluent societies indulge more in the non-vegetarian meals, it’s cereal grains which supply appropriate ‘nutrition’ to the livestock. In the United States the intake of cereals from additional sweeteners or food starch is higher, in comparison to their direct consumption.
The produce of a region depends on its environmental, cultural, and economic factors. The regions with high water accessibility tend to have a dominating yield of rice and maize. Rice is also known to be grown well under flooding conditions. The harvest can rot if it struggles with water deficiency. Hence, Asia is the world’s largest producer of rice amid all the regions, owing to the large supply of freshwater and ample rainfall.
The grains which can tolerate the stress of drought are sorghum and millet, and thus they are grown abundantly in semi-arid environment of Africa and India. On the other hand, Barley is a grain which can be grown well in cold climates and thus is mostly produced in northern Europe and northern parts of the US and Canada. However, if we consider the global cereal yield, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Arab Emirates have the most hectares of cereal yield.
There are numerous challenges which remain regarding the health benefits of cereal grains. To satisfy consumer expectations, grains are milled to remove germs and bran. However, the milling process can also remover the important nutrients, including dietary fiber, phenolics, vitamins and minerals.
The table below is sourced from World Bank and gives a clear idea of the cereal yield (kg per hectare) per country.
|Country||Cereal Yield (Kg per Hectare)||Country||Cereal Yield (Kg per Hectare)|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||24,743||Thailand||3,032|
|United Arab Emirates||21,487||Fiji||3,018|
|Oman||5,690||Sao Tome and Principe||2,098|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||5,192||Sierra Leone||1,889|
|Uruguay||4,941||Federated States of Micronesia||1,646|
|Papua New Guinea||4,738||Gabon||1,604|
|Albania||4,716||Antigua and Barbuda||1,593|
|Paraguay||4,426||Trinidad and Tobago||1,481|
|Sri Lanka||3,897||Burkina Faso||1,181|
|Guyana||3,516||Central African Republic||880|
|Venezuela||3,427||Republic of the Congo||828|
|Tajikistan||3,349||Democratic Republic of the Congo||772|