October 9, 2018: Our country is rich in a variety of food crops including millets. Unfortunately millets were classified as coarse grains during the colonial period. In 1970 I pleaded at a meeting in FAO that millets should be referred to as nutri-cereals since they are rich in nutrition. Later, I referred to them as climate smart nutri-cereals since they are also resistant to drought and higher temperature. It is therefore a matter of pride that Karnataka has declared itself as the “Organics and Millets Capital of India”. I congratulate the Hon’ble Minister Shri Shivashankar Reddy and the Government of Karnataka for being leaders in promoting nutri-cereals.
I am glad that the Government of India has declared 2018 as the National Millets Year. It is time that all states of India promote the diversification of food habits through widening the food basket under the National Food Security Act. There is provision in the Act for adding other crops in addition to the usual wheat and rice in the PDS. By adding climate smart nutri-millets in the farming system, we will be accomplishing the goal of Farming System of Nutrition (FSN).