Read full article by Aneesh Jain@ KrishiJagran Photo Credit:Krishi Jagran
Once dubbed a poor man’s food, millets are increasingly finding their way into the dining plates across the world. Over the past few years, the rapid shift towards healthy eating has brought back the focus on millets.
Millets are a highly variable small-seeded group of grasses that are grown worldwide as a food crop or grain for both human food and fodder. They essentially do not form categorical groups, but functional or agricultural groups instead. They are grown in difficult farming conditions such as low-nutrient and acidic soils making them easy to harvest. Almost 97% of millet production happens in developing countries and its productivity is favoured in dry and high-temperature conditions.
Deeply entrenched in India’s mythology and history, millets come in different shapes, the most popular being sorghum (jowar), pearl millet (bajra), and finger millet (ragi) that are commonly consumer in Indian households. The other types of millets that are increasingly becoming popular are little millet (kutki), small millet (samai), foxtail millet (kangni), proso millet (barri), barnyard millet (jhangora), kodo millet (kodra), two pseudo millets (buckwheat and kuttu), and Ameranthus (chulai), among others.
Currently, India is the fifth largest exporter of millets in the world alongside other countries like the US, Russia, Ukraine, India, China, the Netherlands, France, Poland, and Argentina. As per industry estimates, India millets export figures came down marginally in 2020-21 ($26.97 million) compared to 2019-20 ($28.5 million). This at a time when global exports of millets were $466.284 million in 2020.