New Delhi, Sep 14 (Ajit Weekly News) The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Council has approved a proposal by India to celebrate 2023 as an International Year of Millets with the aim of increasing awareness about nutritious cereals.
This will play a key role in popularising the benefits of millets like overcoming malnutrition and fighting diabetes. India’s proposal in this regard was approved at the 160th session of the FAO Council held in Rome in 2018.
Malnutrition is a major cause of concern in India. As per the answer given by Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani in the Rajya Sabha on March 16, 2022, 35.5 per cent of children under 5 years of age are stunted, 19.3 per cent children in the same age category are wasted and 32.1 per cent of children below 5 years of age are underweight.
The Union Minister had cited the data from the recent report of NFHS-5 (2019-21). The Indian government has accorded high priority to the issue of malnutrition and the proposal to celebrate 2023 as an International Year of Millets is also an effort in this direction.
Notably, in view of its nutritional value, millets was notified as nutri-cereals by the government in April, 2018. The millets are a rich source of protein, fibre, minerals, iron, calcium and have a low glycemic index. The National Year of Millets was celebrated in 2018.
CVoter-IndiaTracker conducted a nationwide opinion poll on behalf of Ajit Weekly News to know people’s views if celebrating 2023 as an International Year of Millets will help in increasing awareness about nutritious cereals. The survey revealed that the majority of Indians – 53 per cent believe that the step will popularise the benefits of nutritious cereal. At the same time, only 17 per cent of the respondents disagreed and 30 per cent of the respondents were clueless about the issue.
Similarly, while the majority of both the rural and urban respondents approved of the FAO Council decision, a large proportion of respondents did not have any opinion about it.
According to the survey data, while 55 per cent of respondents from the rural areas think it is the right decision to make people aware about the nutritious value of millets, 34 per cent sounded unaware of India’s proposal and FAO Council decision and 14 per cent said that it will not make any difference.
As for the views of urban respondents, while 56 per cent of the respondents living in cities believe that decision will help in fighting the problem of malnutrition, 14 per cent did not share the sentiment and 31 per cent had no opinion on the issue.
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S