The consensus resolution sponsored by India and supported by over 70 nations declaring next year as the International Year of Millets had been adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRSAT) has therefore begun series of researches to introduce several millet seed varieties to Nigerian farmers ahead of the slated year. This is to enable millet farmers get new variety seeds before the year ends.
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ICRISAT country representative in Nigeria, Dr Hakeem Ajeigbe disclosed this during Pearl Millet field da held at Minjibir Local Government Area of Kano State.
According to Ajeigbe, the international day is aimed at raising awareness about the health benefits of the grain and their suitability for cultivation under changing climatic conditions. He explained that ahead of the International Year of Millet, the research institute in collaboration with other agricultural research institutes has been working on the development of various millet seed varieties that will soon be handed over to farmers in an attempt to promote both domestic and industrial usage of the crop.
Dr. Vabi Michael of ICRISAT also revealed that millets are a traditional food across Africa and Asia, largely consumed in their natural forms. He added that increasing awareness of millets and their health benefits is helping and fuelling its return to plates and expansion of farms and as well add value to agricultural practices.