Government has approved 2018 as National Year of Millets to boost production of the nutrient-rich millets and the sunrise agri industry involved in it. Earlier in November 2017, India had forwarded proposal to United Nations (UN) for declaring year 2018 as ‘International Year of Millets’.
Observation of Year of Millets will help in promotion of production and consumption of millets will substantially contribute in fight against targeted hunger and mitigate effect of climate change in long run. Popularizing millets will also benefit future generations of farmers as well as consumers.
Millet is a common term to categorize small-seeded grasses that are often termed nutri-cereals or dryland-cereals. It mainly includes sorghum, ragi, pearl millet, small millet, proso millet, foxtail millet, barnyard millet, kodo millet etc. They are adapted to harsh environment of semi-arid tropics.
Benefits of Millets :
Nutritional Superiority : Millets are nutritionally superior to wheat and rice owing to their higher levels of protein with more balanced amino acid profile, crude fibre and minerals such as Iron, Zinc, and Phosphorous.
Health Benefits: Pellagra (niacin deficiency), Anaemia (iron deficiency), B-complex vitamin deficiency can be effectively tackled with intake of less expensive but nutritionally rich food grains like millets.