Institutional Activities

JMI organizes awareness lecture on Millets as part of IYoM 2023

:- IYoM’s resolution is intended to increase public awareness on the health benefits of millets and their suitability for cultivation under tough conditions marked by climate change


New Delhi: The Department of Geography, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) organized a lecture on “Creating awareness about millets: Types, Importance, climate resilient and economic security” as a part of the International Year of Millets (IYoM) - 2023 under the aegis of Ministry of Education, Government of India on July 27, 2022. Prof. Moni Madaswamy, Professor Emeritus and Chairman, Centre for Agricultural Informatics and e-Governance Research Studies, Shobhit Deemed University, Meerut and former Director General, National Informatics Center (NIC), Govt. of India delivered the lecture on the occasion.

Prof. Moni in the background of his lecture explained climate change and pathways to self- reliant India. He talked about opportunities and challenges for sustainable development and emphasized integrated approaches for generating knowledge and developing decision support systems using IT and geospatial technology. He highlighted the significance of the celebration of IYoM - 2023. The resolution is intended to increase public awareness on the health benefits of millets and their suitability for cultivation under tough conditions marked by climate change. This resolution aims at promoting the nutritional as well as ecological benefits of millets. He discussed the importance of millets, its types, and distribution.

He elaborated upon group of crops comprising sorghum (Jowar), pearl millet (Bajra), finger millet (Ragi/Mandua) and small millets viz; little millet (Kutki), kodo millet (Kodo), barnyard millet (Sawa/Jhangora), foxtail millet (Kangni/Kakun), proso millet (Cheena) all together comes under Millets which is now called as ‘Nutri-Cereals’ due to their high nutritive value. Nutri- cereals were important crops in the country with higher area coverage as compared to wheat and rice before the green revolution period.

India is among the largest global producers of millets with Rajasthan the top millet-producing state, catering for over 40% of total production in the country. India produces all the eight commonly known millets and is the largest producer and second- largest exporter of millets globally. Millets are widely distributed in the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana. Despite numerous qualities, utilization of millets as food is confined to the traditional consumers, i.e. tribal populations. This is mainly because of the non-availability of consumer-friendly ready-to-eat millet-based products. 

Prof. Moni emphasized the need for diversification of crops in the era of climate change. Millets are non-acid forming, non-glutinous, highly nutritious, and easily digestible foods. Other advantages of Millet production include drought-resistant, dual-purpose crops, climate change mitigation, and are beneficial for human health. Prof. Moni further laid the significance of millet in providing economic security for the communities living in arid and semi-arid areas. Millets are rich sources of minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium and therefore, regular consumption of millets can help to overcome malnutrition. He concluded his talk by stressing on the profitability of millets in the market and the role of digital technology in agriculture.

The lecture was attended by students, scholars, teachers and other distinguished guests from the university.

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