There are about 6,000 different varieties of millets available worldwide. Millets can be grown in arid and semi-arid regions, unlike wheat, rice, and corn because they don’t require good soil or a lot of water to grow. Millets are gluten-free and abundant in nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Pearl millet, finger millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, and barnyard millet are just a few of the numerous varieties of millets.
Millets can be used to make a variety of dishes, including porridges, breads, pancakes, and even beverages. They are also used as animal feed and in the production of biofuels.
Millets are gaining popularity as a healthy and sustainable food option, particularly in light of concerns about climate change and the environmental impact of traditional agricultural practices. Worldwide, Indonesia, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Italy, United States of America, United Kingdom, Brazil, and the Netherlands are the top importers of millets.
Millets In India
According to Gen (retired) VK Singh, Union Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways and Civil Aviation, India is promoting millets as a mission-critical initiative due to their varieties and benefits and also to position itself as a hub for production and millet export.
He mentioned to reporters after addressing the inaugural session of the three-day G20 Meeting of Agriculture Chief Scientists (MACS) at a hotel on 17th April, “We are not only highlighting the nutritious and other qualities of millets, which are also called ‘Mota Anaj’ or ‘Shree Anna’, but also providing millet dishes in all the meetings of G20 being organized in India”.
He also said, “Millets are produced in 130 countries and are the base of agriculture in India.” and he also added, “Millets are known for climate resilience and could be easily produced even in adverse climatic conditions. They need less chemical fertilizers and their natural farming is possible. In view of all these facts, India is promoting millets.”
Singh claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a goal of turning India into a major millet export and production center. “The focus of farmers will start shifting from growing cash crops like paddy and wheat with a growth in the demand for millets. When the country’s agricultural scientists, who are the best in the world, will start working on it, the production of millet will start to boom.”
He claimed that India is promoting its programs like food security, the nutrition mission, and other initiatives through the G20 platform so that other nations can benefit from the ideas.
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