Indian Army has taken a decision and sought the clearance from the Government to introduce and issue millets flour as part of the ration for the soldiers.
In a statement Ministry of Defence said that Government sanction has been sought to procure millets flour not exceeding 25 percent of the authorised entitlement of cereals (rice and wheat atta), in rations for troops commencing from the year 2023-24 onwards.
Procurement and issue will be based on option exercised and quantity demanded. Three popular varieties of millets flour such as Bajra, Jowar, and Ragi will be issued to troops duly considering preference. Millets have the benefit of being a good source of proteins, micro-nutrients and phyto-chemicals thus boosting the nutritional profile of Soldier’s diet.
In addition, advisories have been issued for Millets to be extensively used in organised functions, Barakhanas, canteens and in home cooking. Centralised training of chefs is being undertaken to prepare wholesome, tasty and nutritious millet dishes. Special emphasis for introducing value added millet items and snacks to troops deployed along Northern borders have been given. Millet foods are being introduced through CSD canteens as well as dedicated corners are being set up in shopping complexes. ‘Know your Millet’ awareness campaigns are also being conducted in educational institutions, the statement said.
The decision has been taken in a view to promote consumption of millets in light of UN declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets, said the MoD statement.
This landmark decision will ensure troops are supplied with native and traditional grains after over half a century, when these were discontinued in favour of Wheat Atta.
Traditional millet foods with proven health benefits and suited to our geographical and climatic conditions would be a vital step in mitigating life style diseases and enhancing satisfaction and morale of the troops. Millets would now form an integral part of the daily meal for all ranks, the statement said.