Ganderbal, Apr 7: Department of Botany, School of Life Sciences (SLS), Central University of Kashmir (CUK) Thursday organised a “Millet Awareness Webinar” in Science Campus to celebrate the international year of Millets, under the G20 University Connect.
Registrar, Prof. M Afzal Zargar who was the chief guest on behalf of Vice-Chancellor, Prof. A Ravinder Nath stressed educating locals on millets, promoting their daily use, and giving incentives to farmers to adopt millet cultivation in J&K.
Director R&D, Prof. Farooq Ahmad Shah stressed that the world is facing multiple challenges like climate change, shortage of food grains, overpopulation, poverty, hunger and spread of lifestyle diseases. He laid emphasis on the need to promote millets as alternative food under the aegis of IYM-23.
Dean, SLS & Head Deptt. of Zoology, Prof. M Yousuf talked about millets gaining popularity as alternative foods among rich people who consider it a privilege to consume millet recipes.
In her address, Prof. Azra N Kamili (Nodal Person Botany Deptt and webinar convener) shared ‘quick facts on millets’ and remarked that India wants to position itself as ‘Global Hub for Millets’ through IYM-23 activities at the national and international level.
Head Deptt of Biotechnology and Co-convener, Dr. Abid Hamid Dar informed the audience that India has surpassed China as the diabetic capital of the world and millets can be a solution due to their low glycemic content.
Dr. Vijay Kumar Yadav, Principal Scientist IGFRI-ICAR, Jhansi who was the invited guest speaker talked about ‘millets-coarse grain to nutri-cereals’ and said that millets can be used to reduce ‘rising’ cases of colon cancer in J&K. “Prosomillets can be consumed by patients facing celiac diseases. India has developed 17 biofortified millet varieties on World Food Day.” He said that ICAR-IIMR (Hyderabad) provides incubation services as a nutri-hub for farming of millets in India. Local youth can become entrepreneurs to promote the consumption of millet in J&K. He said we should develop ‘millet gardens’ in villages & cities to promote millet awareness.
Asst Prof. Dr. Sajad Ahmad Lone conducted the programme proceedings, proposed the vote of thanks, and was also the rapporteur.