International Year of Millets (IYM)

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International Year of Millets (IYM)

  • Recently the Prime Minister of India has addressed the opening ceremony of the International Year of Millets (IYM) at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Headquarters in Rome (Italy).
  • The Prime Minister congratulated the UN FAO for the launch of PLD. He also stressed on the need to make millets the preferred food for the future.
  • India’s proposal to declare the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets was accepted by the United Nations in the year 2021.
  • The International Year of Millets 2023 will raise awareness of the importance of millets in food security and nutrition.
  • Millets are popularly known as nutritious grains. It is a diverse group of small grain cereals (family Poaceae).
  • These include jowar, bajra, ragi etc. These are indigenous species of different regions of India.
  • These are rich sources of micronutrients. They contain 7–12% protein, 2–5% fat, 65–75% carbohydrates, and 15–20% dietary fiber.
  • With the advent of the Green Revolution, millets were reduced to mere fodder crops. It is noteworthy that in the Green Revolution, maximum emphasis was given on wheat and rice crops.
  • However, India still produces 20% of the world’s millets.

Initiatives taken to promote millets

  • In the year 2018, National Year of Millets was observed.
  • The Minimum Support Price (MSP) has been increased to encourage those cultivating millets.
  • Supply of millets at least once a week has been made mandatory in mid-day meal scheme under Saksham Anganwadi and Nutrition 2.0.

Benefits of Millets

  • For Consumers: Are gluten free (beneficial for celiac patients),

Protect against type 2 diabetes, gastric ulcer or colon cancer,

Probiotics are foods, remove problems like constipation and gas, anemia, liver disorders and reduce the effects of asthma etc.

  • For farmers: They are able to tolerate extreme weather, so its cultivation is less risky,

Requires less inputs like fertilizers and pesticides

  • For the ecosystem: promote sustainable consumption and production, support climate action,
  • Can also be grown as inter-crop and mixed crop etc.
  • support efforts to end hunger,
  • Promote good health and well-being, etc.

Source – The Hindu

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