Millets, An Old Concept To Adapt To New Change


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Presentation by Dr. A. Arunachalam, ICAR, Meghalaya

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Millets, An Old Concept To Adapt To New Change

  1. 1. Millets – an old concept to adapt to new change .
  2. 2. Farmland use systems in North East India Agricultural practices Agroforestry systems Wet rice cultivation, no terraces Mixed homestead garden Exclusive wet rice terraces Agriculture with alder cultivation, irrigated Wet rice cultivation as well as Cash crop based systems (Broom upland rain fed agriculture but grass, pine apple and other not shifting cultivation horticultural crops) Wet rice terrace cultivation, Horti-silviculture together with shifting cultivation Shifting cultivation with valley Agri-horti-silvipastral agriculture Exclusive shifting cultivation Livestock based Shifting cultivation with home Sericulture based gardens
  3. 3. Land use Plantation Banana based agro-forestry Jhum lands Homegardens Areca nut based Mustard cultivation homegarden Wet rice cultivation Tobacco cultivation Terrace cultivation
  4. 4. Different agricultural systems and the major crops grown therein Type of agricultural Major crops grown Jhum Paddy+maize+millets chillies+vegetables Valley Wet rice cultivation Rice, millets Double cropping Paddy+maize → mustard/vegetables/tobacco Rotational bush fallow Paddy+maize+chillies Home garden Fruits+ginger+Vegetables Other field practices Terrace cultivation Horticultural plantations Tea cultivation Cardamom cultivation
  5. 5. Estimated diversities of major crops in N. E. India Crop (s) Estimated diversities Rice 9650 Maize 15 races, 3 sub races – 1200+ Millets ??? Taros 300 Yams 230 Citrus 17 spp. + 52 vars. Banana 16 taxa Orchids 700 taxa Sugarcane 19 taxa Bamboo 78 taxa Source : NBPGR-NE Region
  6. 6. Distribution of wild Corps grown by the relatives of cultivated Chakmas’ in adjoining crops in India villages of Namdapha and as a whole in the National Park northeastern hill region Cereals 2 Crop Number of Species Millets 2 NE Himalaya India • Cereals 16 60 Vegetable and pulses 17 • Legumes 6 33 Condiments and spices 3 • Fruits 51 109 • Vegetables 27 64 Oil yielding 3 • Oil seeds 1 12 • Fibre crops 5 24 Narcotics 1 • Spices and Fibre yielding 1 condiments 13 27 • Miscellaneous 13 26 Total 33 • Total 132 (37.18%) 355 Rice germplasm 48 Source: Upadhyay and Sundriyal, 1998 Upland 26 Wetland 21 Upland + wetland 1
  7. 7. Threats to Agrobiodiversity • The traditional system was sustainable in the past, but changing now • Fast changes are taking place in: – Landscapes – Farming systems – Individual crops – People’s lifestyles – Breaking of traditional sytems
  8. 8. Biodiversity therefore is a keystone in sustainability, and its loss has been one of the common outcomes of agricultural intensification Productivity Sustainability Change in Ecosystem Function Reduction in Animal & Microbial Diversity Reduction Change in in Plant Resource Biodiversity availability Intensification of Management Impact of agricultural intensification Intervention on an agroecosystem
  9. 9. The Card • Millets are produced in 18.50 million ha by 28 countries covering 30% of the continent. There are nine species which form major sources of energy and protein for about 130 million people. • Millets are consumed as staple food (78%), drinks and other uses (20%). Feed use is still very small (2%). As food, they are nutritionally equivalent or superior to most cereals; containing high levels of methionine, cystine, and other vital amino acids for human health. They are also unique sources of pro-vitamin A (yellow pearl millets) and micronutrients (Zn, Fe and Cu) which are especially high in finger millet. • Future trends need increasing productivity and trade (regionally and internationally) and adding value to products by improving/increasing processing and utilization in industry. More research-for-development (R4D) and networking are required to achieve these.
  10. 10. Millet Production Area • Region/Country Area Production (million ha) (million tons) • AFRICA (28 countries) 18.50 11.36 -East and Central Africa (8 countries) 3.36 2.01 -Southern Africa (10 countries) 1.20 0.75 -West Africa (10 countries) 13.94 8.60 • ASIA 16.99 15.17 • India 13.95 10.70 • China (mostly foxtail millet) 1.90 3.67 • USA (mostly proso millet) 0.15 0.18 • Argentina (mostly proso millet) 0.04 0.06 • World (all cultivated millet species) 38.10 28.38
  11. 11. • Production of millets is still at subsistence level by smallholders (0.3-5.0 ha farm size) and consumed as staple food and drink in most areas. • These millets production areas coincide very well with where most of the poor live • One most significant importance of the millets, which present them as focus for major agricultural research and development efforts, is their widespread adaptation in marginal production and niche areas. • They provide farmers with the best available opportunity for reliable harvest, food and nutrition in environments with erratic and scanty rainfall, and low soil fertility levels
  12. 12. • About 80% of the world’s millet is used as food, with the remaining being used for stockfeed (2%), beers (local and industrial), other uses (15%) and bird seed • Animal feed as forage, grain and residue is still insignificant
  13. 13. Value Addition • Millets have good grain qualities suitable for processing. • Processing of the grain for many end uses involves primary (wetting, dehulling and milling) and secondary (fermentation, malting, extrusion, glaking, popping and roasting) operations. • Being a staple and consumed at household levels, processing must be considered at both traditional and industrial levels, involving small, medium and large-scale entrepreneurs.
  14. 14. The Market • The greatest constraint in the realization of importance of millets is in their handling and limited use by the producers, processors and consumers. The harvesting, threshing, and processing for food are mainly done by women at the household level. • Commercially, there is a slow and emerging trend in the industrial use of millets at the national and regional levels. • Because of its nature and ecology of production areas, the mainly cultural and household processing and consumption pattern is yielding to more and more cottage, medium and large scale practices
  15. 15. Research-4-Development • There are important researchable and development issues that confound or influence the importance and status of millets, and their potential in commercialization and trade. • Adaptation and improvement of local varieties and local variety derived materials have been the forms of research • Demand would also be enhanced through knowledge and use of grain technological and nutritional qualities of the millets by industries in both developing and developed world. • Productivity increase of millets would surely entice processing industries and markets for value-adding and economic returns.
  16. 16. Research-for-development (R4D) should focus on strategies to enhance and expand demand, in the short-, medium- and long-term. Recommended strategies would include: – 1. Increasing production and productivity: to improve competitiveness and close up deficit gaps; and ensuring food and nutrition security. – 2. Promoting millets for commercialization and markets through: - improvement of processing and utilization methods and technologies13, including fermentation, malting, steaming, micro milling, compositing and product development. - diversifying end-use products to include ready made, non-conventional and better-packaged, more presentable conventional foods. - Expanding the use of pearl millets in livestock feed industry - Expanding the use of millets in malting, brewing and by-products industries - Expanding the options for millets use in novel food products, novel traits, biofortified food products (using their unique qualities with high levels of Copper, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium and Manganese nutritional convenience and health snack foods. - Evaluating, developing and emphasizing grain and food product qualities and standards for industry and end uses - Developing sustainable regional trade in millets raw and finished products14 through improving market channels and trading volume with maintenance of quality and standards – 3. Increasing and diversifying millets utilization through - Technology, knowledge, and information dissemination, transfer and exchange13 including equipments and facilities, and markets - strengthening and creating new linkages and human resources development through training, education and networking within and across sub-regions - expanding awareness to improve status of millets by generating healthy government policy environment - better utilization and involvement of professional expertise, and interdisciplinarity - closer interactions between public and private sectors including producers, consumers, processors, intermediaries mainly traders and middlemen, and distributors
  17. 17. Over all,… • Millets are still the staple food for millions of poor people. • Being high-energy nutritious grains make them useful components of dietary and nutritional balance in foods. • However, the continued and future importance of millets as food are in food and nutrition security due to them having good amounts of untapped potential for yield increases through hybrid development and production, superior yield gains under drought and resource-poor environments • Production of good grain qualities suitable for processing, and unique nutritive values with significant amounts of essential amino acids (lysine and methionine) minerals (especially micronutrients including calcium, zinc, iron and phosphorus) and vitamin A (in form of beta-carotene in yellow endosperm pearl millet); the quantities, qualities and bio availability of which need more improvement as reviewed in the grain properties and utilization potential of millets.
  18. 18. The Research Thrust On the research-for-development front to increase production and productivity, more efforts should be put on: – developing and producing millet hybrids (topcross and population cross) with sustainable seed systems, for both the hill and valley agro-ecosystems to extend to more productive agroecologies – farmer-friendly IPM packages for the control and management of economically important weed, insect and disease pests focused on pearl millet and finger millet as priority – enhancing intergrated resource management for soil-water-crop livestock systems in millet- based production systems – continuing with more vigour the processing (primary, secondary and tertiary) and utilization methodologies; equipment and facilities development, fabrication and modification; and grain quality assessment with product quality and standards – fostering interaction and networking for millets R4D and information access within and across regions and sub-regions
  19. 19. Components of the traditional village ecosystem Market Animal husbandry Household Forest Agriculture
  20. 20. Extent of Shifting Cultivation
  21. 21. Agroforestry-alternative to Jhum Comparison of jhum vs. agro-forestry Factors Jhum Agroforestry Ecological factors Fragility High Low Homeostasis Internal External control Biodiversity High Low (restricted) Carbon sequestration Low More Carrying capacity of land Low High Ecological status Complex Complex Economic factors Labour Intensive Systematic Inorganic fertilizer Not used Used sometimes Monetary input-output Low High Socio-cultural factor Approaches to cultivation Slashing & burning followed by Trees grown with crops cropping Cropping pattern One rotation More than one rotation Cultural value Traditional value Intervention Local adaptability More Less Sustainability Diversity conserved Production sustained Source: Arunachalam et al. 2002
  22. 22. Nature's propaganda in the biosphere Biodiversity Managing the interface is the challenge? Humans Abiotic environment
  23. 23. Environmental linkages Atmosphere Plants Humans Land, Soil & Water Interactions Interventions Biosphere Animals Disturbance Degradation Microbes Restoration Conservation
  24. 24. Climate Change • Impact & Vulnerability • Coping strategies & Adaptation • Research Gaps & Future action
  25. 25. Lush Green Jatropha cultivation in NE India
  26. 26. Horticulture / Medicinal Plants • : There is a lack of information, database and marketing linkage of some • medicinal plants (records) • : Still there is a illegal but large market • of these plants. • : Needs conservation through cultivation. : A central market in co-operative basis • may be established with proper • information system. • A need for biogeo database
  27. 27. Coping strategy • Migration • Change in choice of animals…! • Network of PDS • Change of cropping pattern • Change of crop • Responses to differential variation in climate/environment • Cultural landscape approach…..!!!!
  28. 28. Traditional knowledge 1. Emanates from the cultural contours of the community concerned 2. Evolves with close contact with specific environment and communities intimate knowledge of their environment Constituents of IK 1. Production, transmission and utilization of IK & IT 2. Role in Nation Building (a). medicine & health, (b). food system, (c). arts, crafts & material, (d) . socio-cultural 3. Encompasses cross-cutting and supportive issues (IPR, national policy formulation and governance, integration of IKS with other knowledge systems Figure 1. Never underestimate the importance of local knowledge Source: India Today, June 10, 2002
  29. 29. IPR • Is it protecting the TEK???
  30. 30. KEY • “We should not discard old technology (IKS) just because it is old” - M. S. Swaminathan • Poverty reduction is a key to reduce vulnerability to climate change…
  31. 31. Processes of succession in a jhum fallow after site abandonment Slash & burn Abandonment Cultivation & harvesting Mixed bamboo forest Primary forest Fallow Grassland ? Near original state Secondary forest regrowth
  32. 32. Restoration! • Acid test to ecologists
  33. 33. Rehabilitation of jhum lands Secondary forest Natural process Terracing Jhum cultivation Horticulture Human directed Agroforestry
  34. 34. Direct values Market Prices Goods and products Productivity & cost-based approaches Effect on Production Indirect values Replacement Costs Ecosystem services Cost of Providing Substitutes Cost of Avoided Damage Option values Surrogate market & stated Existence values preference approaches Travel Costs Direct values Nature tourism Contingent Valuation
  35. 35. Dimensions to Environmental Management……. Ecological Humans Social Economic A SEE Approach…….!!!
  36. 36. Informatics - The Change in the Pathway……. Documentation To know Collection Database Methods Information To understand Analysis Inference To forecast
  37. 37. or Survival ???..
  38. 38. Cultural Ethics - Ecopsychology • Cultural values of millets • Festivals…and rituals…. • Primary processing - patterns ….. • Sustenance-based? • Traditional Ecological knowledge • Gender Issues
  39. 39. The bottleneck • Extent of awareness….sensitization of younger generation • Ability to appreciate traditional foods with sensitivity
  40. 40. The Potential • Promoting traditional foods for nature tourism… • Fodder Multiple Securities….
  41. 41. Promotion…. • Consultations…at different levels… • Partnership mode…. • All India Coordinated Project • Audio…Video…Success Stories….for sensitization…. • Policy measures….(e.g. integrating with mid-day meal programme or PDS….healthcare systems)
  42. 42. Politics Policy Environment People A PPP Process………
  43. 43. The need of the hour • To have sensitization on this tradition as a means of livelihoods in the present day conditions to have progressive socio-economy of the farming communities in particular. • ‘Good Cultivation and Collection Practices’ • ‘Good Manufacturing and Marketing Practices’ • Technological backstopping and Institutional linkages
  44. 44. Thanks Let us save tradition, traditional cultivars and work towards enhancing production and economic returns to sustain livelihoods!