In news– Recently, the Union Minister of State for Ministry of Food Processing Industries has inaugurated the National Conference on Millets.
About the conference-
- The theme of the conference was ‘The Future Super Food for India’.
- It was organised by industry body ASSOCHAM with the support of M/o Food Processing Industries.
- The conference has been organised to discuss opportunities and challenges in ensuring food and nutritional security.
- Millet is a cereal grain that belongs to the Poaceae family, commonly known as the grass family
- Millets are coarse grains and a repository of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
- They include jowar (sorghum), ragi (finger millet), korra (foxtail millet), arke (kodo millet), sama (little millet), bajra (pearl millet), chena/barr (proso millet) and sanwa (barnyard millet).
- Millets have been among the oldest eatables in the country.
- It is a crop grown from small seeds which can be grown well in dry areas or even on lands with deficient and low fertility thus is known as the superfood of India.
- Due to their short growing season, millets can develop from seeds to ready-to-harvest crops in just about 65 days and this characteristic of the millets is of vital importance in thickly populated regions of the world. If stored properly, millets can keep well for two years or beyond.
- The provision of inter-state transportation of surplus millets through the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is incorporated to cater for advance demands placed by consuming states before the start of procurement.
- The major millet producing states in India include Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
- India is now the 5th largest exporter of millets globally.
- The year 2023 will be the international year of millets that will create value generation and promotion of sustainable products in food choices.
- Production of coarse cereals in the country has increased to 17.96 million tonnes in 2020-21 from 14.52 million tonnes in 2015-16 and the production of bajra (pearl millet) has also increased to 10.86 million tonnes in the same period.
- Due to its ability to be easily preserved for a long time even under ordinary conditions, coarse grain is also considered a storehouse in times of famine.