ICAR-IIHR propels millet nutrition value as pre-cursor to the International Year of Millets-2023

ICAR-IIHR propels millet nutrition value as pre-cursor to the International Year of Millets-2023

Millet research and cultivation are being boosted by the ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) Hesaraghatta. The Bengaluru-based organisation, which is known for its high-quality seedlings, planting materials, and grafted plants, is now emphasising millets' high fibre content and human nutrition.

As a prelude to the International Year of Millets-2023, the IIHR, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Millets Research in Hyderabad, held a virtual event recently in which Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, emphasised the importance of millets in daily diet and its export potentiality.

Dr. Pushpa Chetankumar, Scientist (Food & Nutrition), Division of Post Harvest Technology & Agri. Engg, ICAR- Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, spoke about the importance of nutri-cereals in human health.

Dr Pushpa Chetankumar, who stated that nutri-cereals have been an important element of the human diet since ancient times, claimed this was due to the nutritional quality of millets as well as their function in preventing diseases and malnutrition. The Indian government has issued a gazette notification designating millets as nutri-cereals in this regard.

“Nutri-cereals are high in protein, vitamins, dietary fibre, and bioactive components, all of which are lost in ordinary cereals due to processing and polishing. The nutritious value is superior to cereals.

Additionally, nutri-cereals are high in potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, as well as iron, zinc, and sodium. “Including nutri-cereals in our regular diet aids in the prevention of heart disease, obesity, and arthritis,” she continued.

Nutri-cereals are nutritious for both youngsters and pregnant mothers. Consumption of nutri-cereals has been demonstrated to lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels in studies. Phytochemicals and antioxidants included in nutri-cereals have been shown to reduce excessive cellular oxidation, protecting humans from a variety of malignancies. Apart from all of these health benefits, Chetankumar claims that the bioactive components found in nutri-cereals will assist to boost immunity.

Dr. B L Manjunath, Principal Scientist IIHR, gave a talk on the significance of plantings in sustainable agriculture and rural life. All of the farmers who took part received high-quality IIHR seedlings, grafted plants, and vegetable seed kits. The occasion also included the planting of fruit trees.

Shobha Karandlaje, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Kailash Choudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; and Singireddy Niranjanreddy, Telangana Minister for Agriculture, Co-operation, and Marketing were also present.

Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, DARE, and Director General, ICAR, New Delhi; Secretary, Dept. of Agri. Co-op. Farmers Welfare Sanjay Agarwal; and Dr. U S Awasthi, chairman, IIFCO, all emphasised the nutritional value of millets.

More than 150 farmers and over 70 female students attended the curtain raiser ceremony at ICAR-IIHR in Hesaraghatta. The entire programme was prepared for the benefit of various stakeholders by Dr. B N S Murthy, Director, ICAR-IIHR. Dr. Debisharma, Dr. T S Agora, Dr. Prakash Patil, Dr. R Venkattakumar, and the entire IIHR staff were there.