Millets are a group of small, seeded crops which are grown in dry lands and less fertile soil. They are quite a popular food option in various parts of the world, including India and parts of Africa. Millets come in several types, such as finger millet, foxtail millet, sorghum and little millet. Millets are also called the superfood of the new world because of their amazing health benefits.
Recently, The United Nations has declared “Year 2023 as the international year of millets”. The UN accepted India’s proposal wholeheartedly to encourage an increase in global production and raise awareness regarding the health benefits of millet.
India is the largest producer of millet in the world and leading the world towards local superfood millet. The Indian government has taken various amazing steps to increase millet awareness among people and make 2023 a year of millet initiative a great success.
How is India leading the world towards local superfood millet? Read the post to know more!
Why Millet: Millet is beneficial for both health and the environment
Health benefits of millet
- Millets are high in nutrition. As per USDA (US Department of Agriculture), 100g of raw millet contains 11-gram protein, 8 mg of calcium, 3.01 mg of iron and 1.68 mg of Zinc and provides wholesome nourishment to the body. Experts suggest millet can be used as a great source to deal with malnutrition and iron deficiency anemia.
- They are gluten-free and an excellent food option for those who have a gluten allergy.
- Millets are also a good food option for weight loss. They are rich in fiber and keep you full for longer.
- They are high in fiber and have a low GI (Glycemic Index) and are considered a great option for diabetics.
Environmental benefits of millet
- Millets can grow in poor-quality soil. They are a perfect crop for dry lands.
- They require less water to grow.
- Millets crops can survive in hot weather and offer natural resistance to drought and other adverse weather conditions.
Indian government initiatives for leading the world towards local superfood millet
Indian government has taken various amazing initiatives to increase the popularity of millet worldwide. Such as:
National millet mission 2018
The Indian government took steps toward millet promotion since the year 2018. The year 2018 was declared as a “National year of millet”… In the same year, millet was named as a “Nutri cereal” and got introduced under the “PM Poshan Abhiyan” to increase popularity among the people. The mission was a great success and helped in raising “millet awareness”.
India millet initiative
To encourage the increase in millet production and promotion, the Indian government has launched India millet initiative. The program aims to bring in a greater number of stakeholders (including farmers, processors etc.) who are interested in millet promotion and want to join the millet expansion program.
Role of IIMR (Indian Institute of Millets research)
Indian Institute of Millets Research has launched various ongoing Institute projects (like induction of mutation for sorghum improvement) and external funded projects for raising millet awareness and increasing millet production.
Millet mighty quiz and millet innovative start-up challenge
The Indian government has organized various interesting activities and events like “Might millets quiz” and millet innovative start-up challenge to increase public awareness regarding the health benefits of millets.
PM Modi has also addressed the Nation for raising millet awareness with “Mann Ki Baat”
PM Modi has talked about millet benefits in his monthly radio show “Mann Ki baat”. He has said ‘Millets have been a part of our agriculture for ages. They are extremely beneficial for small farmers and equally useful for younger generations, who are looking for healthy food options.
Along with these amazing initiatives, the Indian government also focuses on increasing millet export in various parts of the world.
India is the 5th leading exporter of millet in the world
As per 2020 data, India has become the 5th leading exporter country in the world. Indian government and agricultural associations are working aggressively to increase and support millet export. Currently, India is exporting millet to Nepal, UK, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.
Millet meals for events like G20 leadership visit, Pravasi Bhartiya event and food fairs by various Indian embassies across the world are a step in the right direction by the Indian government to raise awareness and promote inclusion of millets in the daily diet.
Increasing millet exports is another important step in encouraging millet use in different parts of the world.
So, with these incredible ways, India is leading the world towards local superfood millet and making the year 2023- International year of millet, a success.