The Indian Army is set to reintroduce millets flour in the rations of soldiers and has sought the Union Government sanction to procure millets flour not exceeding 25% of the authorised entitlement of cereals (rice and wheat flour), in rations for troops commencing from the financial year 2023-24 onwards.
“Millets would now form an integral part of the daily meal for all ranks,” the Army said in a statement. It stated the decision was taken with a view to promote consumption of millets in light of U.N. declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
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“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,” the Army said.
Stating that procurement and issue will be based on option exercised and quantity demanded, the statement said three popular varieties of millets flour — bajra, jowar & ragi — will be issued to troops duly considering preference.
In addition, advisories have been issued for millets to be extensively used in organised functions, barakhanas, canteens and in-home cooking, the Army said, adding that 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,” the Army said. 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 Army said, adding that 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.