NITI Aayog Releases Report – Promoting Millets in Diets

NITI Aayog Releases Report – Promoting Millets in Diets

NITI Aayog has released a report titled “Promoting Millets in Food: Best Practices in India’s States/UTs”.

  • The report presents best and innovative practices adopted by state governments and organizations in different aspects of the millets value-chain.
  • Millets are also known as nutri-cereals. These are collective groups of annual grasses with small and round seeds.
  • They are grown as grain crops for human food or as fodder for livestock. They are consumed mainly in arid and semi-arid areas.
  • Some examples of Millets – Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Kangni (Foxtail Millet), Chena (Proso Millet) etc.
  • India is the largest producer of millets in the world and is among the top 5 exporters of millets in the world. However, there has been a decline in production as well as area under cultivation in India.

The following are the reasons for this:

  • Compared to millets production, crops like rice and wheat are being promoted.
  • Compared to other crops, production of millets gives less profit.
  • These crops have a relatively short shelf life. This causes storage problems.
  • There is less demand for these crops due to urbanization and non-availability of ‘ready-to-eat’ millets.

Initiatives to promote millets consumption in India:

  • Millets have been declared “nutri-cereals”;
  • These have been included in the National Food Security Mission (NFSM);
  • The year 2018 was declared as the ‘National Year of Millets’;
  • The United Nations General Assembly is observing 2023 as the International Year of Millets etc.

Initiatives by States to promote Millets –

  • In Andhra Pradesh, a massive revival of tribal millets cultivation is underway, and a drought mitigation project is underway.
  • Schemes like NFSM – Nutritious Grain Mission, Tamil Nadu Millet Mission have been launched in Nagaland.

Benefits of Millets:

  • They are rich in nutrients,
  • These have anti-diabetic properties,
  • Their cultivation requires less water,
  • Their cultivation costs less,
  • They have the ability to tolerate the adverse effects of climate etc.

Source – PIB

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