National Conference on Millets for Military Ration and Specific Nutritional Requirements

International Year of Millets 2023
International Year of Millets 2023

Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt inaugurated a two-day National Conference on ‘Millets for Military Ration and Specific Nutritional Requirements’ in Mysuru, Karnataka. This conference, organized by the Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) based in Mysuru, aims to address the scientific aspects of incorporating millets into military rations. It also seeks to explore sustainable agro-processing practices in terrains where troops are deployed, tackle challenges in millet processing, and devise methods for preservation and storage to ensure sustained nutritional and food security.

During his address, the Raksha Rajya Mantri emphasized the significance of millets for health. He mentioned that DFRL is not only creating awareness among the public but also working towards supplying millets to Armed Forces personnel to meet their nutritional needs. Dr. Samir V Kamat, Secretary of the Department of Defence R&D and Chairman of DRDO, appreciated the Services’ initiative to include millets in their rations. He hoped that the conference would delve into the nutritional aspects and practical implementation of millets and their products in Armed Forces rations.

Padma Shri Prof Khadar Valli Dudekula, renowned as the Millet Man of India, was present at the inaugural ceremony. He emphasized the importance of millets for human well-being and a disease-free life. The Director General (Life Sciences) of DRDO highlighted the conference’s relevance in alignment with the International Year of Millets and expressed confidence that awareness about millet benefits would increase further through this event. The Additional Director General (ST) (SM) from Army Headquarters commended DFRL for organizing the conference and discussed the need for millet usage in Army ration.

The major technical themes of the conference include:

  1. Nutrition & Health benefits of millets
  2. Millets in military ration: issues, challenges, opportunities
  3. Recent advances in millet processing & value-added products
  4. Networking of supply chain management among stakeholders
  5. Policy interventions in the promotion of millets.

During the event, the Raksha Rajya Mantri also inaugurated an exhibition organized by DFRL, featuring participation from 17 industries. He also unveiled the first biodegradable water bottle developed by DFRL. Various Licensing Agreements for Transfer of Technology were handed over to the industry by the DRDO Chairman in the presence of Shri Ajay Bhatt. The conference is attended by personnel from the Armed Forces, Paramilitary, DRDO scientists, academia, and industry partners.

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