Ragi is an annual plant widely grown as a cereal in the arid areas of Africa and Asia. It is very adaptable to higher elevations and is grown in the Himalaya up to 2,300 metres in elevation. In India, finger millet (locally called ragi) is mostly grown and consumed in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh,Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Goa. Once harvested, the seeds keep extremely well and are seldom attacked by insects or moulds. The long storage capacity makes finger millet an important crop in risk-avoidance strategies for poorer farming communities. The whole grain of ragi may be ground into flour or decorticated before grinding to produce either a fine particle product or flour, which is then used in various traditional foods. The flour may be ground coarsely or finely, depending on individual preference and recipe requirement. Finger millet is especially valuable as it contains the amino acid methionine, which is lacking in the diets of the poor who live on starchy staples such as cassava, plantain, polished rice, or maize meal. In many parts of the world, ragi has traditionally been used in food products and various food items; porridge, unleavened bread, cookies, cakes, couscous, and malted beverages are made from this versatile grain.