India currently has around 14 million hectares of land under millets cultivation These areas include Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. Production of millets is around 14 million tonnes a year with Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Karnataka leading in millet farming
Nutritional insecurity is a major threat to the world’s population that is highly dependent on cereals-based diet, deficient in micronutrients. Plants are the major source of nutrients essential for normal growth and development. And millets exhibit vast genetic variability for key mineral elements like, iron, zinc, and calcium when compared to other cereal crops.
Additonally, biofortification, which uses conventional crop breeding to increase micronutrient levels, helps address preventable deficiencies of key vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin A and zinc. This hidden hunger often results from diets lacking in diversity or essential nutrients. In spite of the superior quality of millets, only pearl millet has been prioritized as crop of choice for iron biofortification in India. Therefore, vast potential exists to utilize the minor millets for biofortification.
Keeping in view the importance of millets in achieving nutritional security, ASSOCHAM’s is organizing a Virtual Session on Millets 2021: Status and Way Forward on July 9, 2021 in association with HarvestPlus and NuFFooDS Spectrum.
The session will focus on the policy interventions required to promote the production of millets crops in India and increasing its area under cultivation, the role of research institutes/research organisations, farmers / growers, Government Stakeholders : Central and State and the role of Processing Industry as well.