Millets: The Nourishing Solution to Food Security Challenges Over Cereal-Based Cropping Systems

Tausif Jamal

Department of Agricultural Science, Midnapore City College, Kuturia, Bhadutala, Midnapore, West Midnapore-721129, India.

Lopamudra Ghosh

Department of Agricultural Science, Midnapore City College, Kuturia, Bhadutala, Midnapore, West Midnapore-721129, India.

Debranjan Maity

Department of Agricultural Science, Midnapore City College, Kuturia, Bhadutala, Midnapore, West Midnapore-721129, India.

Sampurna Banerjee *

Department of Agriculture, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur, Nadia-741252, West Bengal, India.

Santanu Banerjee

Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj University, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

A heightened emphasis on augmenting millet production and accentuating their nutritional benefits is pivotal in mitigating reliance on conventional crops, fostering dietary diversity, and enhancing food security, particularly in times of natural calamities when food scarcity is prevalent. The United Nations General Assembly has designated the year 2023 as the International Year of Millet. Millets hailed as 'superfoods,' boast high levels of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. India stands as a major contributor, producing 80% of Asia's millets and 20% globally, as reported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. Statistics reveal that over 90 million individuals in Africa and Asia incorporate millets into their diets, with Africa accounting for more than 55% of global production, followed by Asia at nearly 40%, while Europe constitutes approximately three per cent of the worldwide market. Specifically in India, West Bengal adheres to a predominantly monocultural cropping system, predominantly focused on rice. Monoculture systems are highly susceptible to blights and pests due to their lack of diversity, leading to reduced soil fertility and compromised soil structure. Cultivating millets not only offers a viable solution by diminishing reliance on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides but also facilitates a transition towards sustainable agriculture. This involves diversifying crop rotations and steering clear of the pitfalls associated with mono-cropping systems. Introducing various millet types into cropping systems can significantly enhance food security. Each millet variant possesses unique qualities that enable them to withstand extreme climatic conditions, making them particularly relevant as adaptive measures in the current context of global warming and climate change issues.

Keywords: Food security, mono-cropping, climate change, sustainable agriculture


How to Cite

Jamal , Tausif, Lopamudra Ghosh, Debranjan Maity, Sampurna Banerjee, and Santanu Banerjee. 2023. “Millets: The Nourishing Solution to Food Security Challenges Over Cereal-Based Cropping Systems”. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change 13 (12):417-26. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijecc/2023/v13i123698.

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