Character and comparative advantage: Sustainable food production that encompasses the selection of product is nutrition value, health benefits, climate resilience, low cost of production and remunerative prices for farmers
Nutritive Value: Millets are gluten-free, with high amount of protein, fibre and micronutrients such as calcium, iron and phosphorus crops in comparison to rice and wheat.
Health benefits on consumption of millets:
- High dietary fibre provides hunger satisfaction and helps reduce obesity.
- Reduce the risk of Diabetes & Cardio Vascular Diseases.
- Beneficial in treating and prevention of gallstones and stomach ulcers.
- Nutritionally dense and reduces anaemia, liver disorder and asthma.
- It’s hypo allergic properties help prevent allergic reactions.
- Relieves constipation.
- Lowers blood glucose response and reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes.
- Rich in antioxidants and hence reduce oxidative stress.
- Reduce the occurrence of hypertension.
Good for the planet:
- Low Water Footprint – Millets are often the only crop that can grow in arid regions, requiring only 300-400 mm of water compared to 1400-1500 mm for rice cultivation.
- Zero Carbon Footprint – Millets are the Carbon Neutral Crops by virtue of carbon absorption from the environment equivalent to their carbon emissions.
- Energy Footprint –Millets are also energy-efficient crop since the use less fertilizer and water
Good for farmers:
- Short Crop Duration – Millets help small farmers with efficient crop rotation as many millets need only 60-90 days to mature while fine cereals take 100-140 days.
- Resource Efficient – Millets are efficient in utilizing the available nutrients and also respond well for improved farm conditions and additional application of inputs, and results in increased yield up to 3 fold.
- Climate Resilience– Millets are the most secure crops to small farmers as they are the hardiest, resilient and climate adaptable crops in harsh, hot (up to 64 degrees Celsius) and drought environments. They are often the last standing crops in drought season and will be the sustainable future food source amidst worsening climatic conditions.
- With the ever growing population and climate change related irregularities, Millets can prove to be a answers to food security.
- Precious fodder for bovines: The straw of millet crops is considered as precious fodder for bovines as they are nutritional powerhouses high in proteins and minerals such as Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Phosphorous, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium.
Producing areas: Presently 8 species of millets are grown across the country. Millets are grown across all type of area i.e. tropical/subtropical/ dryland/ mountain region. The top five states growing Millets include: Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, UP, Haryana.
Demands: The demand for the millets are mainly local. India is the 5th largest exporter of millet with a CAGR of 3% between 2015-2020. With the onset of International Year of Millets (IYOM) 2023, the demand is expected to rise globally.
Consumption: Millets can be consumed in the form of grains, cooked as rice/chapati, can be further processed (popped/flatted/puffed etc).
One District One Product (ODOP) & One District One Focus Product (ODOFP)
Year of establishment: 2021
No. of agri-products under the scheme: 168
National website: https://www.mofpi.gov.in/pmfme/one-district-one-product
The Permanent Missions of India and Nigeria to the UN organized with FAO a virtual event today from New York to build momentum towards the International Year of Millets in 2023.