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Mobilizing Neglected and Underutilized Crops to Strengthen Food Security and Alleviate Poverty in India

Publisher: University of Muncih

The M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai in collaboration with Bioversity International, Rome has been implementing a project on neglected and underutilized crops with the support of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome. The neglected and underutilized crops chosen for this study included finger millet (Eleusine coracana), Italian or foxtail millet (Setaria italica) and little millet (Panicum sumatrense). Two locations where these crops have been traditionally under cultivation and intrinsically linked with food security, livelihood and cultural identity of local tribal communities, were chosen as target sites. These crops by virtue of their extremely high resilience to the harsh agro-climatic conditions, particularly in marginal soils, hilly terrain and under aberrant rainfall, are well adapted to offer a dependable level of food security to the poor. They are also valued for their better nutritious profile of the grains and high quality straw. The grains have high bio-available minerals, particularly calcium and iron, vitamins, dietary fibre, and other phyto-chemicals. Their unique physico-chemical composition renders them slow digestible and with low glycemic index, which is a valued nutraceutical property in food grains. The long shelf life of these grains is also an attribute preferred by the communities living in regions characterized by poor communication

Author(s): S Padulosi, Bhag Mal, TR Prabhakaran, AT Kishore Kumar, TK Hrideek, S Bala Ravi | Views(235) | Download (120)

  
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