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Nutritious Grains should Reclaim Their Rightful Place on Our Plates: Tomar

Millets are considered climate-friendly crops because they require little water, have a low carbon footprint, and can be grown even in drought conditions. In an era of rising demand for vegetarian foods, millet forms an alternative food system. Millet promotes a healthy diet as well as a safe environment.

Shivam Dwivedi
Ministers at Millets Culinary Carnival 2022
Ministers at Millets Culinary Carnival 2022

Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, has stated that nutritious grains should reclaim their rightful place on our plates. The United Nations has declared 2023 the International Year of Millets, on the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Group of Ministers has been tasked by the Prime Minister with promoting Nutri-cereals.

The Central Government has planned numerous programmes at the local, state, national, and international levels. This was stated by Tomar during his visit to the Millets Culinary Carnival at Dilli Haat today. This culinary festival, organized by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, is a major step toward celebrating the International Year of Millets (IYoM) - 2023 under India's stewardship, where the use of millets in various cuisines is being displayed during live cookery shows in which eminent chefs from across the country have also participated.

Millets are considered climate-friendly crops because they require little water, have a low carbon footprint, and can be grown even in drought conditions. In an era of rising demand for vegetarian foods, millet forms an alternative food system. Millet promotes a healthy diet as well as a safe environment. These are nature's gifts to humanity. Millets are high in micronutrients such as B-complex vitamins and minerals, which are in short supply.

The festival was organized in collaboration with ICAR-IIMR, IHM (Pusa), and IFCA, and the chief guest, Tomar, said that millets should not be dismissed as a poor man's food, but rather should be promoted globally, just like Yoga and Ayurveda, because they are all important for health. India is a major producer and consumer of millet crops and millet-based products. "I look forward to many more such events to raise awareness about millet consumption and its health benefits," Tomar said.

Students from Pusa's Institute of Hotel Management, Catering, and Nutrition performed a street play about millets and food security. Tomar also inspected various millet stalls and handed out prizes. Five teams were chosen from a field of 26 to compete for the Best Culinary Dishes Made of Millets award. The top three were IHM Indore, Chitkara University, and ICI Noida, with IHM Bhopal and IHM Mumbai also competing in the final round.

Kailash Choudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Manoj Ahuja, Additional Secretary Abhilaksh Likhi, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Director General, ICAR, and Ratnavati, Director IIMR, Hyderabad, were also in attendance.

The festival provides the general public with an opportunity to sample the nutritious-delicious millet dishes. Nutritional information is being distributed at Dilli Haat during this festival. This is also an excellent opportunity to promote the nutritional benefits of millets, as well as a chance for entrepreneurship and a regular diet plan for the general public, in which many startups and other stakeholders have taken part.

The festival's attractions include a panel discussion on 'Business Prospects for Small Scale Industries and Entrepreneurs,' street plays, and quiz competitions that promote the benefits of millet. The festival will be held until July 31.

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