India’s Push for Millets
- At a pre-launch celebration of the International Year of Millets 2023 organised by the Ministries of Agriculture and External Affairs on Thursday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar named “Covid, conflict, and climate” as the world’s main food security challenges, and placed the cultivation and popularisation of millets in the context of the wider imperative of “de-risking the global economy”.
- One of the first crops to be domesticated was millets. Millets were consumed by the inhabitants of the Indus Valley as early as 3,000 BC, and various types that are currently produced all over the world originated in India.
- Even today they are predominantly grown in West Africa, China, and Japan which are the home to indigenous varieties of the crop.
- More than half a billion people in Asia and Africa still use millets as their primary source of nutrition today. Millets are now farmed in more than 130 nations.
- They are typically cultivated in rainfed locations and require a lot less water than rice and wheat.
- Sorghum (jowar) is the largest millet crop grown worldwide. United States, China, Australia, India, Argentina, Nigeria, and Sudan are the top jowar producers.
- Another important millet crop is called bajra, and certain African nations as well as India grow a lot of it.
- Millets are mostly a kharif crop in India. Three millet crops, bajra (3.67%), jowar (2.13%), and ragi (0.48%), made up nearly 7% of the total area under cultivation in the nation in 2018–19.
- Millets are regarded as “nutrition powerhouses.” The Agriculture Ministry designated millets as “Nutri Cereals” on April 10, 2018.
- For the purposes of production, consumption, and trade, jowar, bajra, ragi/mandua, the minor millets kangani/kakun, cheena, kodo, sawa/ sanwa/ jhangora, and kutki, as well as the two pseudo millets buckwheat (kuttu) and amaranth (chaulai), which have “excellent nutritious value,” are The Indian Institute of Millets Research (ICAR) and the Karnataka State Department of Agriculture jointly produced The Story of Millets, which states that “Millets include 7–12% protein, 2-5% fat, 6–75% carbs, and 15-20% dietary fibre.
- Comparing little millets to fine cereals, they are more nutrient-dense. They have higher levels of protein, fat, and fibre.
Source The Hindu