Outcomes of the Scientific Roundtable Discussion - Millets for Enhancing Agri-economy, Nutrition, Environmental and Sustainable Development Goals

In this International year of Millets, the first IUFoST Scientific Roundtable Discussion (SRD) of 2023 focuses on Millets for Enhancing Agri-economy, Nutrition, Environmental, and Sustainable Development Goals took place on  31 March 2023. The importance of the consumption of varieties of millets in the composite diet for a Sustainable Food System has been emphasized when the International Year was announced at the UN Food Systems Summit, at which  IUFoST was one of the invited and leading organizations that gave scientific input. IUFoST experts focused on the role of food science and technology in achieving sustainable and healthy diets across nations.  The first outcomes of this SRD are now available. 

Millets are grown in more than 130 countries. They represent components of traditional foods consumed by more than 600 million people daily in Asia and Africa. Millets do require less water to grow and therefore are much lower in the carbon and water footprints. Most importantly millets have a good plant-based nutrition profile and are suitable for all strata of the economy in the society. The science and technology of millets suggest these grains are affordable and are used extensively by small and medium industries in Asia and Africa to make ready for consumption using pre-processing methods such as sprouting and drying, roasting, puffing, and flours and even in multigrain dietary patterns.

Thus the focus of this IUFoST - SRD was to understand how Food Science and Technology can take the Challenges in the Millet Chain (MC) to deliver the needed end product to the consumer and the raw material for the food industries to make potentially nutritious, healthy and safe food products. The global experts  addressed the relevant issues in food science and technology applicable to millets and their role to enhance the global and regional awareness of dietary patterns with better nutrition and improved health through regular consumption of millets-based products. - Vish Prakash

Expert Speakers  led  the IUFoST SRD on Millets for Enhancing Agri-economy, Nutrition, Environmental and Sustainable Development Goals, -   Ismahane Elouafi, PhD – Role of Millets in a Dynamic Agroecosystem, FAO Chief Scientist; Ruth Oniang’o, PhD – Agricultural Diversity of African Millets, Founder and Director of Rural Outreach Africa, Kenya; CV Ratnavathi, PhD - Global Perspective on History of Production, Use & Agri-economics of Millet: Indian Institute of Millets Research, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, India;   Anoma Chandrasekara, PhD - Bioactives and Health Implications of Millet: Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka;  John Taylor, PhD - Getting millets in the world's grocery food basket; Peter Pressman, MD - Millet - Demystifying Health Claims: Peter Pressman, University of Maine, USA and Jay Kant Yadav, Phd, representingt the views of the Council of Early Career Scientists.

Outcomes include a presentation summary, video, scientific papers. For more information,  and if you have questions of the speakers, please feel free to write c/o  IUFoST Secretariat (secretariat@iufost.org). Subject Line: SRD Millets.



Photo credit: Agriculture Post, January 1, 2023