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Millets are nutri cereals comprising of sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet (major millets) foxtail, little, kodo, proso and barnyard millet (minor millets). These are one of the oldest foods known to humanity. These are one of the several species of coarse cereal grasses in the family Poaceae, cultivated for their small edible seeds. They are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and not acid forming foods. Hence they are soothing and easy to digest.

They contain high amounts of dietary fibre, B-complex vitamins, essential amino and fatty acids and vitamin E. They are particularly high in minerals, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and release lesser percentage of glucose over a longer period of time causing satiety which lowers the risk of diabetes.

In India, millets has been a staple diet and a main source of income for farmers especially in the semi-arid regions. They are important food and fodder crop in the semi-arid tropics (SAT) of the world and grows in both kharif and rabi seasons. These grains represent the major source of dietary energy and protein for more than a billion people in the semi-arid tropics.

Unlike rice and wheat that require many inputs in terms of soil fertility and water, millets grow well in dry regions as rainfed crops. By eating millets, we will be encouraging farmers in dryland areas to grow crops that are best suited for those regions. This is a step towards sustainable cropping practices where by introducing diversity in our diets, we respect the biodiversity in nature rather than forcefully changing cropping patterns to grow wheat and rice everywhere.

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