Why in news?
- The 160th session of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Council, currently underway in Rome, approved India’s proposal to observe an International Year of Millets in 2023.
- This international endorsement comes in the backdrop of India celebrating 2018 as the National Year of Millets for promoting cultivation and consumption of these nutria-cereals.
- This is further supported by increase in Minimum Support Prices (MSP) of millets.
- Millets consists of Jowar, Bajra, Ragi and minor millets together termed as nutria-cereals.
- Through the Department of Food and Public Distribution, State Governments are allowed to procure jowar, bajra, maize and ragi from framers at MSP.
- This will enhance global awareness to bring back these nutri-cereals to the plate, for food and nutrition security and hence increase production for resilience to challenges posed globally by climate change.
Significance of Millets consumption:
- Millets are nutritionally superior to wheat and rice owing to their higher levels of protein with more balanced amino acid profile, crude fibre and minerals such as Iron, Zinc, and Phosphorous.
- It provides nutritional security and act as shield against nutritional deficiency, especially among children and women.
- Pellagra (niacin deficiency), Anaemia (iron deficiency), B-complex vitamin deficiency can be effectively tackled with intake of less expensive but nutritionally rich food grains like millets.
- It can also help tackle health challenges such as obesity, diabetes and lifestyle problems as they are gluten free and also have low glycemic index and are high in dietary fibre and antioxidants.
- Established by the Conference at its Third Session (1947) to replace the original “Executive Committee of FAO” in accordance with a recommendation of the Preparatory Commission on World Food Proposals.
- The Council, within the limits of the powers, acts as the Conference’s executive organ between sessions.
- It exercises functions dealing with the world food and agriculture situation and related matters, current and prospective activities of the Organization, including its Programme of Work and Budget, administrative matters and financial management of the Organization and constitutional matters.