2023-International Year Of Millets

Millets are super food that has been eaten as staple food from many year but it has become underrated from last 3 to 4 decade due to invasion of wheat and rice.
Millets are grown in 131 countries and occupy as a traditional food for 59 crore people in Asia and Africa. Millets are gluten free food and rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants.
Beside providing health benefit they are also very good for environment as they require less water and can be grown on marginal land in dry areas of temperate, sub tropical and tropical region.
Millet crops are also resistance to pest and diseases.

There are many varieties of millets-

▫️Foxtail Millet (kangni)
▫️Kodo Millet (kodon)
▫️Fingertail Millet (ragi)
▫️Pearl Millet (bajra)
▫️Amaranth (ramdana)
▫️Buckwheat (kuttu)
▫️Barnyard Millet (sanva)

Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister of India announced 2023 as International year of millets during budget 2022-2023 speech.
She also stated that support will be given for post harvest value addition, increasing domestic consumption as well as branding of millets nationally and internationally.
This proposal of India was supported by 72 countries. Before this 2018 was also declared as International year of millets.This step will be very beneficial for promotion of millets health benefits as well as ecological benefits.

Now, lets see what are the steps taken since 2018 for promotion of millets:-

🔸️NATIONAL FOR MILLETS 2018- as nutri cereals sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet ; Minor millet- foxtail millet, proso millet, kodo millet, barynyard millet, little millet; Two pseudo millet- buckwheat and amaranth.
🔸️”sub mission on Millets” under National food security mission since 2018.
🔸️Millets “state launched mission”
🔸️Millets were included under POSHAN MISSION Abhiyan by Ministry of Women and Child Development.
🔸️One variety of Quinoa (Himshakti) was released by ICAR ( Indian Council of Agricultural Research)
🔸️Supported 200 startups ( turnover >Rs 320 crore) by IIMR, Hyderabad
🔸️Technology backstopping for 400+ entrepreneurs (turnover of >Rs 900 crore)
🔸️Increase in export of millets from $ 24 million in 2017 to $ 26 million in 2020.
🔸️13 high yielding varieties were released including 4 bio-fortified millet variety.

Some of the things that Government plans on doing:-

1. Involvement of youth and students through cyclothon and marathons.
2. Millet recipe food festival
3. Cooking workshops
4. Conference by industry Association: Food processing and hospitality.
5. Millets export promotion by focusing on brands.
6. Distribution of millets through ICDS every week
7. Conference at state and district level for millet promotion.
8. Mid day millet meal in anganwadis and school once a week
9 Hotels to include millet dish in buffets.
10. Promotion of vrat recipes including millets.
11. Encouraging print and social media.
12. FSSAI to develop standards
13. Events to be organized in school, universities, colleges, and civil services.
14. Millets vending machine in all public places.
15. Defense food and research lab to promote millet in Defense and police force canteen

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