Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is the fourth most important cereal crop after wheat, rice and maize. It is believed to be the first cereal crop that was domesticated by humans nearly 10,500 years ago in the Middle East. It is one of the most salt tolerant major crops and is highly adaptable to varied growing conditions and consequently planted in a wide range of areas including the marginal lands. The barley crop has a short growing season and is relatively drought-tolerant. The major use of barley grain (60 percent) is as feed for different domestic animals including poultry, sheep, cattle and camels. A sizeable amount of barley grain is used for malting, for which it is most suited. Barley malt provides the raw material for the industries engaged in brewing and distilling. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are produced from the malt. The rest of barley grain is consumed as food in different forms like soups, stews and bread. Barley is being promoted as health food for its high contents of beta glucans, which help in lowering blood cholesterol. The use of the whole grain regulates blood sugar for up to 10 hours, which makes it even healthier than wheat.