Today millets are garnering the much-deserved attention across India because of their high nutritional value. States like Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have launched special programmes to promote these nutri cereals in the National Year of Millets.
Millets are a diverse range of nutrient-rich crops. In the past 60 years, India’s agriculture policy has focused mainly on rice and wheat and neglected millets. Supply of subsidised rice and wheat through the public distribution system and state nutrition programmes have also played a big role in changing the dietary habits of people.
Besides, millet promotion is plagued by low produce, weak markets, difficult processing methods and low consumer interest even though many urban health conscious individuals are now favouring them over the traditional paddy and wheat. In times of climate change millets score over paddy as they require less water and can withstand extreme temperatures.