Central Bureau of Communication, Goa has organized a Multimedia exhibition on the International Year of Millets at the Kadamba Transport Corporation Bus stand in Panaji. The exhibition was inaugurated by North Goa Superintendent of Police (SP), Nidhin Valsan today. Open to the public till 3rd March, the exhibition aims to educate visitors about the importance of millet and encourage their inclusion in daily diets.
ICAR-Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute has also set up a stall at the event where visitors can interact with subject experts on millets and see live samples of the same. As knowledge partners for the exhibition, the institute is providing expertise on millets in the Goan context, including an overview of the historical and present state of affairs.
Speaking at the inauguration, SP Nidhin Valsan who is a cancer survivor and triathlon athlete said millets were a large part of his health turnaround. Sharing his own millet story, he explained how millets were key in his training for the recent Ironman triathlon, which the officer successfully completed. “For the last 10 months, my dinner and breakfast have comprised of millet preparations. Ragi malt has been my dinner every day since I first made the switch and my strength and endurance have improved remarkably without any weight gain”, said the SP while exhorting visitors to include millets in their diet for a healthier tomorrow.
Dr Praveen Kumar, Director, ICAR-Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute stated that the production of millets has seen only a marginal increase over the years. He highlighted how millets require very few inputs and consume very little water, making them easy to grow for farmers. He also stated that millet can help fight a variety of lifestyle diseases while providing the body with a large amount of nutrition. Dr Praveen Kumar credits the inclusion of millet in his diet for his weight loss and improved control of blood sugar levels.
The event also saw snacks made from millet being distributed as well as a short cultural program by local artists. Entry to the exhibition is free and open to one and all.
About the International Year of Millets
Millets are traditional grains, grown and consumed in the Indian subcontinent. Millets are small-grained, annual, warm-weather cereals belonging to the grass family. They are rain-fed, hardy grains that have low requirements for water and fertility when compared to other popular cereals. Being grown in more than 130 countries at present, Millet is considered traditional food for more than half a billion people across Asia and Africa. 2023 has been declared the International Year of Millets by the United Nations following a proposal by India.
As the global agrifood systems face challenges to feed an ever-growing global population, resilient cereals like millets provide an affordable and nutritious option, and efforts need to be scaled up to promote their cultivation. In April 2018, Millets were rebranded as “Nutri Cereals”, followed by the year 2018 being declared as the National Year of Millets, aiming at larger promotion and demand generation. The global millets market is projected to register a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period between 2021-2026.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release by PIB.