World Food Day 2019: FAO Calls for Boosting Millets to Fight Malnutrition

by Iswarya on  October 16, 2019 at 1:27 PM Diet & Nutrition News
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World Food Day is celebrated every year around the globe on October 16, and as an actionable day against world hunger, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and India have proposed to declare the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
World Food Day 2019: FAO Calls for Boosting Millets to Fight Malnutrition
World Food Day 2019: FAO Calls for Boosting Millets to Fight Malnutrition

Focussing on the role of agriculture and food production with nutrition and food security, FAO Representative Tomio Shichiri said: "While food grain production in India has increased over five times since independence to almost 284 million tonnes in 2018-19, there is a high rate of malnutrition in the country. Therefore, there is a need for diversification toward nutri-rich crop production, such as millets and pulses."

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The focus must not only be on increased food grain production but to also increase the production of targeted nutri-cereals (nutrition-rich crops) such as millets, he said.

"FAO and the Government of India have proposed to declare the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets, which are one of the most climate-resilient traditional crops of India. Promotion of homestead gardens and diversification of agriculture production towards fruits, vegetables, and aquaculture can contribute towards addressing the malnutrition," Shichiri said.

Meera Mishra, Country Coordinator, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) India Country Office, said the changing patterns of consumption directly benefit farmers' production system and income.

Quoting an example of millet production in Madhya Pradesh, she said the tribal Baiga women in the remote Dindori district in MP grew minor millets - Kodo and Kutki - using traditional practices. Support from government and IFAD program has increased the production and engagement. Earlier only 750 farmers were doing millet farming in 750 acres, and today, these numbers have increased by ten times to 7,500 farmers and 7,500 acres.

Source: IANS

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