Millets in daily diet essential for good health, nutrition : Experts

Bhubaneswar / New Delhi, Nov 9 (FN Bureau) Inclusion of millets in daily diet is essential for good health and nutrition, Speakers at the International convention on Millet said here on Thursday. The Speakers in a technical session on “Linkages between Millets and Health “ said as a major component of a healthy diet, millets protect us against many chronic non- communicable diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. An individual can make healthy food choices from among an increasingly complex food supply, they opined. To mark the celebration of International Year on Millets 2023, Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment of Odisha government organised the convention which includes the session that summed up multiple benefits of millets. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chairperson, M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and former Chief Scientist of WHO chaired the session.

The panelists, researchers, and administrators said the aim of the convention was to provide adequate knowledge and skills for critical thinking regarding diet and health so that people can make healthy food habits. The session’s objective was to promote millet as a nutritious and sustainable food source and make people aware about health benefits of millet. Some of the important discussions included possible collaborations with hospital, prescribing millet to diabetic patients, strategic policy and program delivery, inclusion of millets in daily diet, technologies for including millets in government programs. In another session on packaging technologies, the speakers underscored the need for creating awareness about the importance of packaging of millet-based products and also discussed how to eradicate the challenges that the enterprises face to sell their products with a good profit. The speakers highlighted the importance of efficient processing and packaging technologies for value-added millet products, the need of a roadmap for raising public awareness of millet’s high nutritional value in India and other countries, and ways to improve farmers livelihoods.

The regulations on millet branding and packaging, challenges and opportunities facing the millet industry, sustainable approaches to millet product packaging and innovative approaches to value-added millet product packaging were also discussed at length. The goal of the session was to improve millet products with additional value by using a futuristic growth strategy to reach a large number of consumers in Indian and international markets. The significance of moisture-free packaging was also discussed. The primary issues covered in the session included value addition, appropriate packaging, branding, extending product shelf life, and creation of a worldwide market for millets.