(GIST OF YOJANA) India’s Wealth-Millets for Health

(GIST OF YOJANA) India’s Wealth-Millets for Health


India’s Wealth-Millets for Health


  • The Government of India has initiated the revival of millets in the past few years and declared 2018 as the “National Year of Millets” to raise awareness about its health benefits and boost millet production.
  • They are labelled as “Nutri-cereals” due to their high nutrition quotient.
  • Millets were included under Prime Minister’s overarching scheme for holistic nutrition, POSHAN Abhiyan in the same year.

Millets or called as Mota Anaj:

  • Millets are a collective group of small seeded annual grasses that are grown as grain crops mainly on marginal land in dry areas of temperate, subtropical and tropical regions. 
  • Asia and Africa are the major production and consumption centres of millet crops.

Classification of millets –

  1. Major Millets – Finger Millet (Ragi/ Mandua), Pearl Millet (Bajra), Sorghum (Jowar).
  2. Minor Millets – Foxtail Millet (Kangani/Kakun), Kodo Millet, Proso Millet (Cheena), Barnyard Millet (Sanwa/Sawa/Jhangora), Little Millet (Kutki).
  3. Pseudo Millets – Amaranth (Chaulai), Buckwheat (Kuttu).
  • Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are the top five millet producing states in India. 

Importance of Millets:

  1. Climate friendly crop:
  • Millets adapt to a wide range of temperatures and moisture conditions.
  • Require less chemical fertilisers.
  • Pest free crops.
  • Can even sustain in drought prone regions.
  • Minimum rainfall for growth.
  • Low carbon and water footprints. 
  1. Nutritious & Healthy –
  • Good source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, vitamins, iron, phytochemicals, antioxidants and other micronutrients. 
  • Millets are gluten free and considered good for celiac patients.
  1. Viable option for small farmers
  • Millets require low investment and therefore, prove to be a sustainable and viable source of income for small farmers.
  1. Economic & Food Security 
  • Millets are cheaper as compared to other food grains.
  • Under India’s National Food Security Mission – the area and production of millets has increased significantly – from 14.52 million tonnes (2015-16) to 17.96 million tonnes (2020-21).

Millets as a part of the food basket:

  • GoI declared 2018 as the “National Year of Millets” to raise awareness about its health benefits and boost its production.
  • Millets are called ‘nutri-cereals’ owing to their great nutritional quotient.
  • Poshan Abhiyan – Poshan Abhiyan, also called National Nutrition Mission was launched in March, 2018 with an objective to reduce malnutrition in the country. Poshan 2.0 was launched in 2021 to tackle malnutrition and leverage traditional knowledge systems and popularise the incorporation of millets in local recipes in order to enhance quality of supplementary nutrition.

Initiatives by GoI to make IYOM a success:

  • Various creative campaigns on radio, social media, offline events and activities are being organised by the GoI to showcase millets as a superfood, reviving lost recipes and thereby, making it as an essential component of the mainstream food basket.
  • In events like Dubai Expo, IITF (International Indian Trade Fair) and Surajkund Mela etc millets have been showcased.
  • India has more than 500 startups working in the millet value added chain and the Indian Institute on Millet Research has incubated 250 startups under RKVY-RAFTAAR.
  • FSSAI (Food safety and Standard Authority of India) celebrates “recipe ravivar” every sunday on social media platforms where each month is dedicated to a specific variety of millets.
  • Eat Right Melas and Walkathons have been organised across the country.
  • As part of ‘seven sutras’ in the run up to IYOM, the government programmes will deal with issues relating to enhancement of production/productivity; nutrition and health benefits; processing and recipe development; value addition; entrepreneurship development; international outreach; and policy intervention for mainstream millets.



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Courtesy: Yojana