Small millets, a group of six crops comprising of finger millet, kodo millet, little millet, foxtail millet, barnyard millet and proso millet are considered as nutri cereals and are a source of food, feed and fodder. The crops are grown in a variety of agro-ecological situations like plains, coast and hills as well as in diverse soils and varying rainfall. They are known for resilience and drought enduring capacity and are well suited for contingency crop planning, addressing the issues of climate change. Crop improvement efforts focused to state/regional needs from the point of developing appropriate agro production technology for maximizing production/ productivity. Small millets are superior in some or most of the nutritional components compared to most widely consumed rice and wheat. The importance of regular food use of nutrient dense millet for achieving a holistic food and nutritional security is widely recognized.

The headquarters of All India Coordinated Research Project on Small Millets is located at the GKVK Campus of UAS Bengaluru. Established in 1986, it has the responsibility to plan, coordinate and execute the research programmes (AICRP trials, FLD, TSP and NEH Programmes) to augment the production and productivity of the six small millets. The mandated research in the project is carried out through network of 12 centres located in SAUs in the states, ICAR institutes and 19 cooperating centres. Project Coordinating Unit at Bangalore is also a Nodal centre for DUS testing and CRP on Agro-Biodiversity Project.