International Year of Millets: GITAM University launches year-long nutrition initiative
The ‘Nutrition through Nutri Millets’ initiative would see different millet-related activities being conducted every month
HYDERABAD: In order to support the UN's declaration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IMY), Prof. D.S. Rao, Pro-VC, GITAM, Hyderabad, and Prof. Dattatri K. Nagesha, initiated the launch of a unique programme themed Nutrition through Nutri Millets on Wednesday.
The opening event, organised by the Department of Food Science and Technology, GITAM School of Science, GITAM (Deemed to be University), would kick off a year-long celebration and awareness campaign for the nutritional benefits of millets.
GITAM plans to establish millet incubation centres alongside those for fruits and vegetables in order to boost the momentum for millets. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) was also underway.
Eminent experts including Dr. B. Neeraja Prabhakar, Vice Chancellor, Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University (SKLTSHU); Dr. C.V. Ratnavathi, Director, Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), Hyderabad; Dr. B. Dayakar Rao, Principal Scientist & CEO, Nutrihub, IIMR, Hyderabad, Dr. Ananthan, Scientist, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad & Mrs. B. Salome, Board of Director, VIKASA would grace the launch event with their presence.
Throughout the year, students and faculty from the Department of Food Science and Technology at GITAM School of Science would be given a unique opportunity to help promote consumption, better crop rotations, and better connectivity throughout food supply systems in order to promote millets as a key component of the food basket. The year-long celebrations would include culinary competitions, elocution competitions, and essay competitions to increase millet adoption in daily diets.
"Millets were among the earliest cereals to have been ever cultivated, however, they lost their popularity in India post the Green Revolution as consumption moved more towards refined cereal food and food products. Now that climate change is causing global food shortages and malnutrition is plaguing large parts of the world, millets are seen as a potential solution to global food problems," explains Uma Maheswari Kodi, Professor, Food Science & Technology, GITAM School of Science, Hyderabad.
Dr. B. Neeraja Prabhakar, VC of Sri Konda Laxman State Horticulture University, would be enlightening the attendees on how the millets have become a primary food crop in the 21st Century, with recent advances in production as well as processing of millets.
Notably, India’s proposal for recognition of millets led to the United Nations declaring 2023 as the International Year of the Millets and the country aspires to position itself as a global hub for millets.
The Nutrition through Nutri Millets initiative was seen as a significant step towards promoting millets as the “Future Super Food” for India. The awareness of different millet types and the recognition of the nutritional significance of millets was expected to create a domestic demand. Exploring innovative ideas in food processing allows young minds to be a part of food and nutritional security