2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1.1 Historical background.
Cereals have existed throughout history and are unquestionably the most important sources of food for humans and livestock. All of the original ancestors of cereals have been lost over the millennia that they have been cultivated. The development of all the major cereals occurred long before recorded history for all the oldest civilizations were already familiar with several kinds of barley, wheat and other grains. Also the actual origin of these cereals had been so long forgotten that they were given supernatural powers and played a part in the religious ceremonies of the various nations of Antiquity (Economic Plants Index, 2005).
In ancient Rome they held festivals at seedling time and harvest in honour of the goddess of Ceres, whom they worshipped as the giver of grain. They brought offerings of wheat and barley to these festivals, the ―cerealia munera‖ or gift of Ceres, from which the name ‗cereals‖ was derived. In ancient Greece, similar religious ceremonies were observed. In America, the natives of Mexico worshipped an agricultural deity to whom they brought the first fruits of their harvest (Economic Plants Index, 2005).