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‘Miracle grains’ will fight malnutrition and climate change, claim experts at DAV University
March 30, 2023

Jalandhar, March 30

Experts, progressive farmers, and students from Punjab and neighboring states gathered at DAV University to participate in a two-day workshop entitled “Millets as Future Food: Popularization and Improvement for Sustainable Agriculture”. The participants discussed how millets could help fight malnutrition and climate change while also improving food security. The event was held to commemorate the International Year of Millets 2023 was organised by Department of Agricultural Sciences at the University. It was supported by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) under the Mission Life initiative of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Climate Change (MOEFCC) of the Government of India.

VC Dr Manoj Kumar addressing students

The workshop provided a platform for experts, farmers, and students to exchange ideas and learn more about the potential benefits of millets for sustainable agriculture, food security, and improved nutrition.

Umendra Dutt addressing participants

During the event, several experts shared their insights on millets. Umendra Dutt, the Executive-Director of Kheti Virasat Mission in Punjab, highlighted the negative effects of chemicals like insecticides and pesticides on the food chain. He emphasized the need to change lifestyles and incorporate millets into daily dietary habits as they are gluten-free and can help regulate blood sugar levels. Gurmukh Singh, a progressive farmer from Batala, talked about agronomic practices and the benefits of growing millets, while former Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Dr. S. K. Sharma, discussed the status of millets in the global scenario.

Participants at the workshop 2

Nek Ram Sharma, a progressive farmer from Himachal and Padma Shri awardee, highlighted the health benefits of millet consumption and encouraged kitchen gardening and mixed cropping of millet crops for sustainability in farming. Dr. R. K. Gautam, the Director of ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources in New Delhi, spoke about millets as food, their nutritional values, health benefits, and environmental security perspectives. Dr. Akhil Sharma, a resource person from Punjab State Council of Science and Technology, discussed various government initiatives for promoting millet cultivation and shared success stories associated with millet farming in Punjab. Jaswinder Singh, an expert from the Department of Agriculture in Punjab, talked about the conservation of natural resources and how millets could lead to monetary benefits by adding value to them.

Participants at the workshop 1

In his opening address, Prof (Dr) Manoj Kumar, Vice Chancellor of DAV University, stated that millets were the future of food as they are nutritious and versatile, offering a range of health benefits.

Exhibition at the workshop

Along with the expert talks, the event also featured a competition for start-up ideas and an exhibition of millet-based food products.

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