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International Year Of Millets 2023: Vice President, PM Modi And Ministers Attend A ‘Millet Lunch’ In Parliament

The special millets lunch attended by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with other leaders was hosted by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, in the Parliament courtyard to promote millets in the country

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International Year Of Millets 2023: Vice President, PM Modi And Ministers Attend A ‘Millet Lunch’ In Parliament
India is preparing to mark 2023 as the International Year of Millets

New Delhi: On Tuesday (December 20), Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with other leaders attended a lunch in the Parliament where millet dishes were served. The special millets lunch was hosted by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, in the Parliament courtyard to promote millets in the country. It was organised as India prepares to mark 2023 as the International Year of Millets. Prime Minister Modi shared a photo album on social media, giving an insight into his ‘millet lunch’ with other ministers and captioned it as, “As we prepare to mark 2023 as the International Year of Millets, attended a sumptuous lunch in Parliament where millet dishes were served. Good to see participation from across party lines.”

Ministers from various political parties participated with a view to prepare for the International Year of Millets. Among the attendees were Vice President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, BJP National President J.P. Nadda, Congress National President Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhiranjan Chowdhary, Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha and Union Minister Piyush Goyal and Union Ministers and MPs of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

Also Read: Opinion: Millets Can Help Fight Climatic Change And Nutritional Challenges

The luncheon served an elaborate curated millet buffet to highlight the diversity of Indian millets and the variety of Millet cuisines. The menu showed millet as a potential ‘food of the future’. The ministers tasted nutritious dishes made using different kinds of millets including jowar, bajra and ragi. A group of chefs from Karnataka and Rajasthan prepared millet delicacies including Bajre Ka Churma, Bajra Cake, Bajre Ki Kheer, Millet Dahi Chawal, Foxtail Millet Bisibelebath, Ragi Halwa, Jowar Ka Halwa, Ragi Dosa, Ragi Roti, Jowar roti, Haldi sabji, amongst others.

Alongside the millet culinary experience, Millet based products were also exhibited at the event venue to showcase various food products that included several ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook millet items. Watch the highlights of ‘Millet Lunch’ here:

Also Read: Health And Nutrition: Are Millets Good For You?

The Multi-faceted Benefits Of Millets

Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is of the opinion that the International Year of Millets 2023 “will provide an opportunity to increase global production of millets, make better use of efficient processing and crop rotation, and establish millets as a major component of the food basket.”

In the 92nd episode of Mann Ki Baat, which aired on August 28, PM Modi made a clarion call to join hands in the fight against malnutrition. In the same episode, PM Modi enlightened his listeners about the many benefits of millets. He said,

Millets are beneficial for farmers and especially small farmers. In fact, the crop gets ready in a very short time, and does not require much water either.

Sharing the health benefits of millets, in order to promote its consumption, PM Modi said,

Millets contain plenty of protein, fiber, and minerals. Many people even call it a superfood. Millets have many benefits, not just one. Along with reducing obesity, they also reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension and heart-related diseases. Along with that, they are also helpful in preventing stomach and liver ailments. We referred to malnutrition, just a while ago. Millets are also very beneficial in fighting malnutrition, since they are packed with energy as well as protein.

PM Modi urged farmers to adopt Millet and be rewarded in the form of health benefits. He lauded the start-ups working with millets and providing a basket of choices like Millet Cookies, Millet Pancakes and Dosa, and Millet Energy Bars, among others.

Also Read: Know Your Food: Dos And Don’ts Of Incorporating Millet In Your Diet

Nutritional Content That Makes Millet A Superfood

As per the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), Millets are nutritionally superior to other grains, it contains high number of proteins, essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins. IIMR states that Millets contain:

– 7-12 per cent protein
– 2-5 per cent fat
– 65-75 per cent carbohydrates
– 15-20 per cent dietary fibre
– Finger millet (Ragi) is the richest source of calcium, it contains around 300-350 mg/100 g

2023, The International Year Of Millets

The Government of India had proposed to United Nations for declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYOM). The proposal of India got support from 72 countries and United Nations’ General Assembly (UNGA) declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets in March 2021. Now, the Government of India has decided to celebrate IYOM, 2023 to make it a people’s movement so that Indian millets, recipes, value added products are accepted globally.

According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the year 2023 aims to:
– Elevate awareness about the contribution of millets for food security and nutrition;
– Inspire stakeholders on improving sustainable production and quality of millets;
– Draw focus for enhanced investment in research and development and extension services to achieve the other two aims.

Also Read: 2023 – The International Year Of Millets: What It Means

As per the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, ‘Millets’ were among the first crops to be domesticated in India with several pieces of evidence of its consumption dating back to the Indus valley civilization. Being grown in more than 130 countries at present, Millets are considered traditional food for 59 crore people across Asia and Africa.

In India, millets are primarily a kharif crop, requiring less water and agricultural inputs than other similar staples. In a series, Union Minister Tomar shared the benefits of millets and wrote, “India is the largest producer of Millets. Millets are the safest crops for small farmers as these crops are acclimatised even in harsh, hot and dry environments.”

To further promote the use of millets and the production of millet-based food items, the government is extending its support to start-ups. Mr Tomar said, “Government is also activating start-ups for export promotion of value-added products like noodles, pasta, breakfast cereals mix, biscuits, cookies, snacks, sweets in Ready to Eat (RTE) and Ready to Serve (RTS) category.”

Also Read: Here’s All You Need To Know About The Superfood ‘Millet’ That Is Good For Consumption, Planet And Farmers

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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