The Government of India, along with few other countries has urged UN to declare 2018 as the 'International Year of Millets'. Discuss the advantages of production and consumption of millets in comparison to other cereal crops such as Wheat and Paddy.

India along with many countries has urged United Nations to declare 2018 as the International Year of Millets. If the proposal will agreed then it will raise awareness and advantages of consumption of millets in comparison to other cereal crops such as wheat and paddy. Some of the advantages of consumption of millets over wheat and paddy are

  • Nutritionally millets are superior to wheat and rice due to their higher levels of protein with more balanced amino acid profile, crude fiber and minerals such as Iron, Zinc, and Phosphorous.
  • Compared to wheat and paddy, the yield of millets can be increased three times and they have multiple untapped uses such as food, feed, biofuels and brewing.
  • Millets are easily grown in resource poor agro-climatic regions.
  • Compared to wheat and Paddy, Millets are gluten free and have a low glycemic index and are high in dietary fibre and antioxidants. Therefore intake of millets will helps to tackle challenges like Obesity, diabetes and life style problems.
  • Some of the vitamin deficient diseases like Anaemia, pellagra, vitamin B-complex deficiency diseases can be effectively tackled with intake of less expensive but nutritionally rich food grains like millets. 

Paddy is a major contributor to climate change through methane emission but millets help in reducing the atmospheric CO2 and thus contribute in mitigating the climate change.

Question for UPSC Mains:
The Government of India, along with few other countries has urged UN to declare 2018 as the 'International Year of Millets'. Discuss the advantages of production and consumption of millets in comparison to other cereal crops such as Wheat and Paddy.

Published: December 10, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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