Enhancing Nutritional Security and Combating Hidden Hunger with Climate-Resilient Millets

Vidhya C. S.

Department of Primary Processing Storage and Handling, NIFTEM-Thanjavur, Thanjavur-613005, Tamil Nadu, India.

Indrajitsingh P. Girase *

Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, SHUATS, Prayagraj, India.

B. Spandana

AICRP on Women in Agriculture, PJTSAU, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad- 500030, India.

Anand Dinesh Jejal

Department of Agronomy, Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola - 444 104, India.

Monika Singh

Maharishi University of Information Technology, Lucknow, India.

Arijit Karmakar

Department of Agronomy, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur, Nadia, Pin 741252, India.

Raj Bahadur

Department of Agronomy, Aacharya Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology ANDUA&T, Kumarganj, Ayodhya-224229(UP), India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Hidden hunger, characterized by a deficiency in essential micronutrients, persists as a critical global issue, undermining human health and well-being. Despite advancements in food production, millions suffer from the consequences of inadequate access to vital nutrients. To address this multifaceted challenge and fortify nutritional security, millets have emerged as a compelling solution. These small-seeded grains, known for their climate resilience, offer a potent means to mitigate hidden hunger while ensuring sustainable food systems. Millets have garnered attention for their exceptional adaptability to adverse environmental conditions, including drought and high temperatures. Their deep root systems enable them to thrive even in water-stressed regions, making them a reliable source of sustenance in a changing climate. As global temperatures rise and extreme weather events become more frequent, the ability of millets to maintain food production under challenging conditions is of paramount importance.  Beyond their adaptability, millets are nutritional powerhouses. They are replete with essential nutrients, including protein, dietary fiber, B-complex vitamins, and crucial minerals such as iron and zinc. This nutritional profile positions millets as a valuable resource in addressing malnutrition and hidden hunger, which plague populations across the globe. Moreover, millets are gluten-free, offering an inclusive dietary option for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. This aspect contributes to their  accessibility and relevance in diverse dietary regimes, aligning with the principles of equitable food security.

The cultivation of millets is also aligned with broader sustainability goals. Millet farming practices encourage biodiversity conservation, reduce the reliance on chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and protect fragile ecosystems. Additionally, the economic and social benefits of millet production are significant, providing diversified income sources for smallholder farmers and rejuvenating rural communities. Governments and policymakers worldwide are increasingly recognizing the potential of millets in sustainable agriculture. Policies, subsidies, and initiatives are being introduced to support millet production, market development, and nutritional programs, fostering food security, climate resilience, and improved livelihoods. As the global community seeks sustainable solutions to hidden hunger and nutritional insecurity, millets stand as a resilient and nourishing ally. Harnessing their potential, along with continued research, investment, policy support, and heightened consumer awareness, is pivotal to securing a sustainable, nourished, and equitable future for all. In conclusion, the integration of millets into global food systems offers a pathway to enhance nutritional security, combat hidden hunger, and advance broader sustainability objectives.

Keywords: Hidden hunger, millets, nutritional security, sustainability, climate resilience, biodiversity, conservation


How to Cite

Vidhya C. S., Indrajitsingh P. Girase, B. Spandana, Anand Dinesh Jejal, Monika Singh, Arijit Karmakar, and Raj Bahadur. 2023. “Enhancing Nutritional Security and Combating Hidden Hunger With Climate-Resilient Millets”. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change 13 (11):4587-4602. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijecc/2023/v13i113638.

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