Policy

Small Millets in mainstream diets Promoting Decentralised Processing Infrastructure

In India, declining cereal diversity in diets is one of the key factors behind malnutrition and the prevalence of non‐communicable diseases such as diabetes (Misra A. et al. 2011; Ruchi V. et al. 2014; Gayathri R. et al. 2016). Bringing back or inclusion of small millets in the mainstream diets could contribute to an answer. Small millets include finger, little, proso, barnyard, foxtail and kodo millets. Performing well in marginal environments they have superior nutritional properties, including high micronutrient and dietary fibre content, and low glycemic index.

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Small millets, big potential: diverse, nutritious and climate smart

In India, lack of dietary diversity is one of the key factors behind malnutrition and the prevalence of non‐communicable diseases such as diabetes. Small millets, grown as a complement to existing crops, could contribute to an answer. Performing well in marginal environments they have superior nutritional properties, including high micronutrient and dietary fibre content, and low glycemic index.

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National Policy Workshop on Mainstreaming Small Millets in Our Diets

A national policy workshop was organised at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on 1st June, 2017,by DHAN Foundation as part of Scaling Up Small Millet Post-harvest and Nutritious Food Products Project. The main objective of the policy workshop on ‘Mainstreaming Small Millets in Our Diets’was “To discuss and develop concrete policy support needed for mainstreaming small millets at State and Central level in the following spheres: a. Improving production, b. Development of decentralized processing infrastructure, c. Market development and d. Promoting household consumption”. Shri M.P. Vasimalai, Executive Director, DHAN Foundation, made opening remarks and Shri B Rajender, I A S., Joint Secretary (Crops), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, gave key note address. Farmers,Small millet processors, Food entrepreneurs and eminent persons from Ministry of Agriculture and from Government of Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, NGOs, Research organisations and Funding agencies participated in the workshop. The detailed program schedule and the presentations made by the lead speakers in the workshop are shared below: