2023 has been declared the International Year of Millets by the United Nations. Millets were among the first plants to be domesticated and became a major staple food across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia for 7 000 years. However, since new high-yielding varieties of rice and wheat were introduced in the 1970’s, the cultivation and consumption of millets has plummeted. Millets have a high nutritional value and are able to grow on relatively poor soils and under adverse, arid conditions, with comparatively fewer inputs to other cereals. This makes millets a vital part of the global strategy towards food and nutrition security.
This course will explore how millets compare botanically and chemically to other cereal crops like maize, rice and wheat that have become global commodities. We will follow the journey from wild species through domestication and cultivation to commercial production bringing together anthropological, botanical, chemical and ecological considerations.
After studying chemistry at both degree and PhD level and working in different roles in the pharmaceutical industry, Alison’s passion for plants got the better of her. She retrained as a horticulturist, and joined the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, eventually becoming Acting Director. Alison is now focusing on using horticulture as a conduit for science communication but also enjoys creating new gardens for plant enthusiasts.
Please note this is an online course. No specialist software is required to participate, but a device with a microphone and webcam will be needed. Full joining instructions will be emailed a few days before the date of the course.
This is a live interactive course, and will not be made available as a recording to watch at a later date.
Bookings for this course will close on Monday 11 September
Please take the time to read our course cancellations and refunds policy.