Important Topic: National Year of Millets
Important Topics for Competitive Exams
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, India had forwarded proposal to United Nations (UN) for declaring year 2018 as ‘International Year of Millets’.
The proposal, if agreed, will raise awareness about millets among consumers, policy makers, industry and R&D sector. 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. They require low or no purchased inputs, thus they are backbone for dry land agriculture. 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.
It provides nutritional security and act as shield against nutritional deficiency, especially among children and women. 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. It can also help tackle health challenges such as obesity, diabetes and lifestyle problems as they are gluten free and also have low glycemic index and are high in dietary fibre and antioxidants.