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Vol. 12, Special Issue 7 (2023)

The millets expedition from coarse grains to ‘Sri Anna’

Chandrika S, Seema N, Kamini B, Sonam A and Vinod K
Being one of the first crops to be domesticated, these small-seeded grasses popularly known as millets have the history of consumption since the Bronze Age. Even the Indus Valley Civilization trace back to its existence. During the pre-independent and post-independent periods, millets were the common man food and wheat and rice spruced up the rich elites. Until the advent of Green Revolution, millets contributed to 40% of India’s cultivated grain production and were replaced by wheat and rice. By the passage of time they lost their value in Indian platter and merely recognized as coarse grains suitable for animal feed. Solemnly depending on the two major cereals, our country accelerated on the path of monoculture (wheat & rice) serving deficiencies to the Indian masses. But, better late than never, recognizing the enormous potential of millets, which also aligns with several UN Sustainable Development Goals in terms of being climate-resilient, nutritious and water-efficient crops, the GOI has been prioritizing millets for their rich heritage and nutrients’ treasure. A submission on National Food Security Mission-Nutri Cereals was implemented considering the high nutritive value, potential for economic empowerment of small and marginal farmers and contribution to maintaining the earth’s biodiversity; in April 2018, millets were rebranded as “Nutri Cereals” and the year 2018 was declared as the ‘National Year of Millets’, aiming at large promotion and demand generation. These efforts of cultivation and consumption of millets in India, have been brought to the forefront of the international arena as a proposal to UN to declare year 2023 as year of millets and has been finally declared and recognized as the “International Year of Millets-IYM-2023” globally. In present scenario, due to less cultivation, low production and high demand among the conscious people, millets are restricted to the plates of health conscious, intellectual, awarded and rich class people while wheat and rice being cheaply available belonged to poor masses. Leading ahead towards its popularization and introducing schemes for its promotion, cultivation and consumption, the Union Budget 2023 named millets (major, minor & pseudo) as “Sri Anna”. But unless and until this Sri Anna falls in the platter of every common man, it would still be the ‘orphan grain’ which needs efforts from both government and individual to be there where it should be.
Pages: 2459-2462  |  287 Views  191 Downloads
How to cite this article:
Chandrika S, Seema N, Kamini B, Sonam A and Vinod K. The millets expedition from coarse grains to ‘Sri Anna’. The Pharma Innovation Journal. 2023; 12(7S): 2459-2462.

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