Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Millets are important crops in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially India, Mali), with 97% of millet production in developing countries. The crop is favored due to its productivity and short growing season under dry, high-temperature conditions.
Millets have been important food staples in human history, particularly in Asia and Africa. They have been in cultivation in East Asia for the last 10,000 years. The most common types of Millets include Ragi, Bajra and Jowar.
In India, millets have been mentioned in some of the oldest Yajurveda texts, identifying foxtail millet (priyangava), Barnyard millet (aanava) and black finger millet (shyaamaka), thus indicating that millet consumption was very common, pre-dating to the Indian Bronze Age (4,500BC).
WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
But Fast forward to the 21st century, Millets have been forgotten like the pages of history. Their consumption reduced drastically with the introduction of other crops such as rice and wheat.
Following the western model of development, India and other developing nations have lost out on a lot of useful and meaningful things. Food habits have been one of the biggest changes. We are quickly forgetting our indigenous foods and chasing standardisation. Millets too have been discarded as being too primitive to be used, forgetting the roots.
These changes, coupled with state policies that favour rice and wheat, have led to a sharp decline in millet production and consumption.
To begin with, Millets are the superfood which could solve the problem of hunger in developing countries, due to their lower cost of cultivation as well as their adaptability to all types of climatic conditions.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS
This particular SuperCrop has numerous health benefits for the human body, few of which are
ARE THE WINDS OF CHANGE BLOWING IN FAVOUR OF MILLETS?
As of Today, loads of efforts are being made in order to bring back the SuperCrop from the dead, many organisations are conducting various drives in order to acknowledge people regarding the benefits of Millets.
The government of India has even declared the year 2018 as the ‘National Year of Millets’.
The nutritional benefits of Millets are also numerous, when compared to current popular crops such as rice and wheat. Even the nutritionists are suggesting the consumption of Millets in our day to day lives.
One can also make numerous delicious recipes using Health Sutra Millets!
To conclude, a balanced effort by the government (to frame policies in favour of Millets) and the individuals (inculcating the habit of consuming Millets in our diet) would go a long way in re-establishing Millets as the Superfood of India once again.