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Virtual-Meet on ‘Powerhouse of Nutrition: Millets’ under the aegis of All & Sundry

AssamVirtual-Meet on 'Powerhouse of Nutrition: Millets' under the aegis of All & Sundry

Virtual-Meet on ‘Powerhouse of Nutrition: Millets’ under the aegis of All & Sundry, a not for profit org. of Golaghat.

The first ever virtual meet on millet awareness titled, ‘Powerhouse of Nutrition: Millets’ was been organised on Sunday under the aegis of All & Sundry, a not for profit organisation of Golaghat. The Deputy Commissioner of Kokrajhar Varnali Deka, IAS; Dr. Nilakshi Deka, MD, DM (Endocrinologist), Apollo Hospitals, Guwahati; Dibyajyoti Borgohain: Milletpreneur, Co-Founder & CEO – RIGDAM Foods, Hyderabad and Shweta Jain: Nutritionist & Founder of Back to Routes’, Guwahati were the Key Speaker and Co-Speakers respectively.

The Deputy Commissioner of Kokrajhar Varnali Deka, IAS inaugurated and delievered the keynote address at the virtual meet. Speaking at the virtual meet, the Deputy Commissioner Varnali Deka, IAS said- “The International Year of Millets is an important step for recognising the valuable nutrition and health benefits of millets and the importance of these grains to food security and sustainability. She further added, “Millets were among the first crops to be domesticated in India with several evidence of its consumption during the Indus valley civilization. Being grown in more than 130 countries at present, millet is considered traditional food for more than half a billion people acoss Asia and Africa. We can ensure that millets resurface as a staple of our food culture in India and across the world. We should aim to make International Year of Millets a people’s movement, a true jan-andolan and that is where the role of leading NGO of Assam like All & Sundry becomes critical”.

Dr. Nilakshi Deka, MD, DM (Endocrinologist), Apollo Hospitals, Guwahati said promoting millet is a “win-win” for all, asserting that they are good for health, for the planet, environment, for achieving Sustainable Development Goals, for small and marginal farmers and for enhancing the food and nutrition security of people. “The word ‘millets’ has become synonymous with healthy food. Millets can improve haemoglobin levels and reduce iron deficiency. There has been a growing awareness, particularly among urban consumers, that millets are a powerhouse of nutrition, good for diabetes, hypertension, hyperthroidism and obesity and reduce the chances of heart and cardiovascular diseases,” Dr. Nilakshi Deka added.

The District Agricultural Officer of Majuli Irshad Ali who is also the host of the Google Meet informed on the health benefits of millet and encouraged farmers for millet cultivation. The officer also briefed on the varieties of millets grown in the state including, Foxtail millets, Proso millet, etc. The agriculture department is taking proactive efforts to promote millet cultivation as envisaged by the vision of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a source of high nutritional value and boosting farmers’ income. The theme of the IYM 2023 is “Grow, Eat Millets for Health & Prosperity”, the DAO informed.

Dibyajyoti Borgohain, one of the leading Milletpreneurs of India and who is also the Co-Founder & CEO of RIGDAM Foods, Hyderabad said about the benefits of millets and millets based products in daily life and demand in the market. She also emphasized that establishment of entrepreneurship on millet based products will be fruitful to the rural youth for their self employment. She further added, “Millets, a popular superfood, had its Cinderella moment recently. Millet revolution is slowly taking the centre stage, and all new-age health cafes and healthy FMCG products are introducing millets in their menus with products like millet crackers, cookies etc. Notably, Dibyajyoti Borgohain and Madhavi Pomar jointly developed and marketed healthy millet-based products (viz. Ragi Jaggery Biscuits, Ragi Choco Balls, Millet Sesame Snack Bar, Millet Peanut Snack Bar, Jowar Jaggery Biscuits, etc.) since 2014 under the brand name RIGDAM Foods.

Shweta Jain, Nutritionist and Founder of Back to Routes’, Guwahati said over the last couple of years, millennials have witnessed a shift in the proportion of cereals to coarse grains such as millets in their daily dietary plan. She added, “With a sedentary lifestyle and increasing health awareness to curb lifestyle diseases, people are making conscious choices on the consumption of millets. How the humble Ragi ladoo and jowar and bajra are becoming part of the battle against malnutrition is highlighted in a recent report brought out by NITI Aayog in collaboration with the UN World Food Programme. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges at overcoming the nutrition crisis, not only for India but globally. It has emphasized the importance of sustainable eating to reduce Malnutrition, Hidden Hunger, and Diet-related non-communicable diseases.”

According to the Founder of All & Sundry, Administrative Officers of different districts; CMO Official; Social leaders, Doctors; Correspondent of The Times of India; Entrepreneurs; Agricultural Officers; Sales Manager of Taj Vivanta, Guwahati; Representatives of leading women SHGs; Farmers; Manager of Kaziranga Borgos Resort were attended as Virtual Invitees and Virtual Participants respectively in the virtual meet.

Research Technician of APART (Golaghat) Abhishek Singha played the responsibilities of Coordinator and Liaison Agent and Research Technician of APART (Sonitpur) Pankaj Baruah played the responsibilities of Technical Coordinator and Promoter in the virtual meet titled, ‘Powerhouse of Nutrition: Millets’. The virtual meet concluded with a vote of thanks by the Deputy Project Director of Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) Golaghat Tapan Kr. Mahanta.

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