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ICAR-IIHR propels millet nutrition value as pre-cursor to the International Year of Millets-2023
Wednesday, 22 September, 2021, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Bengaluru
ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) Hesaraghatta is
giving a boost to millet research and cultivation. The Bengaluru-based
institute which is known for its good quality seedlings, related planting
materials and grafted plants is now highlighting the rich fibre content
of millets and its human nutrition.

As a pre-cursor to the International Year of Millets-2023, the IIHR along
with Indian Institute of Millets Research, Hyderabad via a virtual event
recently had Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra
Singh Tomar, at the programme inauguration stress on the importance of
millets in daily diet and emphasise its export potentiality .

Dr. Pushpa Chetankumar, Scientist, (Food & Nutrition), Division of Post
Harvest Technology & Agri. Engg, ICAR- Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, focussed on nutri-cereals and their role on human health.

Stating that nutri-cereals have been an important part of the human diet
since ancient times, Dr Pushpa Chetankumar said this was because of the
nutritional quality of millets along with its role in combating diseases
and malnutrition. In this regard, the Government of India too issued a
gazette notification by renaming millets as nutri-cereals.

“Nutri-cereals are rich in protein, vitamins, dietary fibre and bioactive
compounds which are generally lost in other cereals due to processing/polishing. The nutritional properties are better than cereals.
Further, nutri-cereals are also rich in potassium, phosphorus, and calcium
with sufficient amounts of iron, zinc and sodium. Inclusion of
nutri-cereals in our daily diet helps to control heart problems, obesity
and arthritis,” she added.

For children and pregnant women too, nutri-cereals are nutritious. Studies
have shown that consumption of nutri-cereals is effective in reducing blood glucose and lipid levels. Phytochemicals and antioxidants present in
nutri-cereals have shown suppression of excessive cellular oxidation
providing protection from different types of cancers prevalent in the human population. Apart from all these health benefits, the bioactive compounds present in nutri-cereals will help in enhancing the immunity, said Chetankumar.

A lecture on role of plantations on Sustainable Agriculture & rural
livelihood was delivered by Dr. B L Manjunath, Principal Scientist IIHR.
Good quality IIHR seedlings, grafted plants and vegetable seed kits were
distributed to all the farmers who participated. Fruit tree planting was
also part of the event.

Also present were Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers
Welfare Shobha Karandlaje; Union Minister of State for Agriculture and
Farmers Welfare, Kailash Choudhary; Telangana Minister for Agriculture,
Co-operation and Marketing Singireddy Niranjanreddy.

In addition Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, DARE, and Director General ICAR, New Delhi; Secretary Dept. of Agri. Co-op. Farmers Welfare Sanjay Agarwal; Dr. U S Awasthi, chairman, IIFCO emphasised on nutritional quality of millets.

At ICAR-IIHR, Hesaraghatta, more than 150 farmers and around 70 girl
students participated for the curtain raiser programme.

 Dr. B N S Murthy, Director, ICAR-IIHR planned the entire programme for the benefit of different stakeholders. Dr. Debisharma, Dr. T S Agora, Dr. Prakash Patil, Dr. R Venkattakumar and all the staff of IIHR  participated.
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