Weekly WrapUp - Can Super Crop Millets make Indian farmers RICH?

Weekly WrapUp - Can Super Crop Millets make Indian farmers RICH?
Weekly WrapUp - Can Super Crop Millets make Indian farmers RICH?

by Tanushree Jaiswal Last Updated: Feb 21, 2024 - 05:13 pm 263 Views
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You must be wondering what is millet? what’s benefit of it? Why it is called super crop? Well in this blog we will dig deep into all about super crop who is in talks to transform agriculture probably.

Millet is group of small-seeded grains that belong to Poaceae family, commonly known as grass family. These grains include varieties such as pearl millet, finger millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, & sorghum. Millets have been cultivated for thousands of years & are native to Africa & Asia. They are well-adapted to arid & semiarid regions, making them vital staple food for millions of people worldwide.

Nutritionally, millets offer range of health benefits that contribute to overall well-being. They are rich in essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins (especially B vitamins), minerals (including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, & zinc), & antioxidants. Millets are also gluten-free, making them suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Moreover, millets have low glycemic index, which helps in managing blood sugar levels & preventing spikes in insulin.

(source:statistica)

When it comes to production, millets have several advantages over rice & wheat, especially in terms of water consumption & environmental sustainability. Millets are inherently drought-tolerant & require significantly less water compared to rice & wheat crops. They have deep root systems that enable them to access water from lower soil layers, making them resilient to dry conditions. Additionally, millets are less susceptible to pests & diseases, reducing need for chemical pesticides & fertilizers.

Given growing concerns about water scarcity & climate change, promoting cultivation of millets can play crucial role in sustainable agriculture. By shifting focus towards millet production, we can conserve water resources, enhance soil health, & mitigate environmental impact of agriculture. Incorporating millets into our diets & agricultural practices can contribute to food security, nutrition security, & environmental sustainability on global scale.

1. Classification of Millets: Millets are categorized into large millets (such as sorghum & pearl millet) & small millets (including finger millet, barnyard millet, little millet, kodo millet, foxtail millet, & proso millet).

2. Cultivation Trends: excerpt provides details on cultivation of various millet crops across different states in India, including their vernacular names & production statistics.

3. Trends in Area, Production, & Productivity: It discusses changes in cultivated area, production, & productivity of sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet, & other small millets over years.

4. Consumption Trends: There's significant decrease in consumption of millets, especially in rural areas, attributed to changing food habits, urbanization, increased incomes, & competition from other crops.

5. Nutritional Value: Millets are highlighted for their nutritional value, including high protein, fiber, & mineral content compared to other cereals like rice & wheat.

6. Role in Addressing Food & Nutritional Security: Millets are considered important for addressing food & nutritional security, particularly in rainfed agriculture regions, due to their drought resistance, nutritional content, & suitability for diverse agro-ecological regions.

7. Barriers to Production & Consumption: Various barriers to increasing millet production & consumption are discussed, including changing food habits, cultural stigmatization, lack of government support, & market factors.

Startup Opportunity of Milets in India 

In recent years, millets have gained significant attention due to their nutritional benefits & suitability for sustainable agriculture. This surge in interest has sparked wave of entrepreneurial ventures focusing on millet-based products across India. These startups are not only revolutionizing food industry but also contributing to revival of coarse grains' consumption.

Driven by health consciousness & availability of online platforms, millet-based startups are introducing innovative products that cater to modern tastes while preserving traditional essence of Indian cuisine. From ready-to-cook mixes to snacks & desserts, these startups are leveraging versatility of millets to create diverse range of offerings.

Government initiatives like Millet Startup Innovation Challenge & support through schemes like Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana are further fueling growth of millet startups by providing funding & guidance. declaration of 2023 as International Year of Millets by United Nations has also heightened global awareness about importance of millets, opening up avenues for export & international collaboration.

These startups are not only promoting healthy eating habits but also empowering local farmers by directly sourcing millets from them. By incorporating millets into everyday food items like dosa, khichdi, & noodles, these ventures are making nutritious food accessible & appealing to wider audience.

With India leading global production of millets & government's emphasis on increasing their cultivation through measures like MSP, future looks promising for millet-based startups. As demand for nutritious & sustainable food options continues to rise, millets are poised to emerge as key player in food industry, driving both economic growth & nutritional security.

In conclusion, millets emerge as super crop with immense potential to transform agriculture & enhance nutritional security. Their rich nutritional profile, coupled with drought tolerance & environmental sustainability, positions them as crucial component of sustainable farming practices. Despite challenges such as changing food habits & market barriers, millet-based start-ups in India are pioneering innovative products, supported by government initiatives & global recognition.

As these start-ups continue to revolutionize food industry & empower local farmers, millets are set to play pivotal role in promoting healthy eating habits & driving economic growth. With India leading global production of millets & growing demand for nutritious food options, millets are poised to emerge as key player in ensuring both economic prosperity & nutritional well-being for generations to come.

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About the Author

Tanushree is a seasoned professional with 6 years of experience in the Fintech and Edtech industry.

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