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Role of Millets in Nutritional Security of India

Publisher: National Academy of Agriculture Sciences

The term millet includes a number of small-grained cereal grasses. Based on the grain size, millets have been classified as major millets which include sorghum and pearl millet and several small grain millets which include finger millet ( ragi ), foxtail millet ( kangni ), kodo millet ( kodo ), proso millet ( cheena ), barnyard millet ( sawan ) and little millet ( kutki ). The advantages of cultivation of these crops include drought tolerance, crop sturdiness, short to medium duration, low labour requirement, minimal purchased inputs, resistance to pests and diseases. Millets are C 4 crops and hence are climate change compliant. There are varieties particularly in little millet and proso millet which mature in 60-70 days; yet providing reasonable and assured harvests even under most adverse conditions. India is a store-house of highly valuable genetic variability. Millets sequestrate carbon and thereby reduce the burden of green house gas. Millets have been called nutri-grains since they are rich in micronutrients like minerals and B-complex vitamins. Additionally millets are also rich in health promoting phytochemicals, and can be used as functional foods.

Author(s): Dr Mahtab Bamji | Views(284)

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