Millets are a powerhouse of nutrition. These days, the awareness and intake of millet have improved as people have started adopting a healthy lifestyle.
In 2018, India proposed 2023 as an International year for millets. Food and agriculture organization of the UN, approved it and the United Nations general assembly declared 2023 as the ‘International Year of Millets’. This was adopted by a United Nation resolution. India took the lead and was successfully supported by over 70 nations.
The objective of the initiative:
- The main objective of the initiative was to create an awareness of the contribution of millet to food security and nutrition.
- To inspire stakeholders to improve the production and quality of all the millets.
- Get more investment in research services and the production of millets.
Have you been wondering what are millets?
Millets are the term used for the group of small-seeded grasses that are cultivated as a grain crop in marginal lands of the subtropical and tropical regions. These are also called nutri-cereals for the high nutrition that they provide. Common millets easily available in India, are Ragi known as finger millet, Jowar commonly known as Sorghum, Sama widely known as little millet, Bajara commonly known as Pearl millet, and Variga known as Proso millet.
Studies show that there is evidence of these grains being found in the Indus civilization and it is one of the first plants domesticated for food. Grown in 131 countries, millet was the traditional food of around 60 crore people in Asia & Africa. India is the largest producer of millet and a farmer’s first choice as they are not only environment friendly but also require less maintenance and are a budget-friendly farming option. India produces 80% of Asia’s millet production and 20% of global production.
Did you know India, Nigeria, and China are the largest producers in the world, accounting for more than 60% of global production? For many years, India was a significant producer of millet, but now it’s increased in Africa too.
Why is 2023 an International Year of Millet:
It’s declared as a year of millet because of the benefits it has,
- Millets are less expensive
- More nutritious than wheat & rice as it is high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Millets are rich in iron, calcium, and magnesium. Especially Ragi which is the richest source of calcium.
- Millets being nutrient dense helps to overcome nutritional deficiency, especially among children and women. The iron present in millet helps in fighting anemia which many Indian women of reproductive age and infants are facing. Anemia deficiency is also a problem that many developing countries are facing.
Millets are best for people with lifestyle disorders such as obesity, pcod, and diabetes as they are gluten-free and have a low glycemic index. It not only keeps people full for a longer time but also releases glucose slowly.
It is the best choice for weight watchers, kids and new moms who needs more healing food, and going gluten-free is best for their health.
Farmer’s first choice:
Millets are Photo-insensitive & resilient to climate change.
Millets can grow on poor soil.
Millets are less water-consuming and can grow under drought conditions also and also under non-irrigated conditions even in very low rainfall regimes.
Millets have low carbon footprint and need less water.
The Indian Government has undertaken various initiatives to mark the International Year of Millets. They plan to increase awareness and consumption of millets around the world.
The government plans to showcase millets and their benefits at various International exhibitions, global conferences and world symposiums.
Study of millet genetics and global case studies are being initiated under the initiative.
The Indian embassies around the world will undertake events to showcase millets and food festivals.
Celebrity endorsements and engaging international food influencers
Involving global Indian diaspora for promoting millets.
Engaging UN bodies such as World Food Programmed, IFAD and institutional donors.
As a company creating healthy snacks and millet based food products, we are delighted to see the way millets are being promoted on a global scale. If you have not yet made the switch to millets, it’s time to think about it seriously. Include millets in your daily diet to improve diet diversity, nutrition and a sustainable lifestyle. If you are looking for some healthy and delicious snacking items, do check out our products.