The Indian High Commissioner in Accra, Mr Sugandh Rajaram, has urged Ghanaians to consume more millet in order to live a healthy and sustainable life.
He noted that a number of health benefits would be derived by adopting the initiative of consuming millet due to its nutritious value
“One of the ways that we as people from the Global South; Africans, Indians, Asians, Ghanaians can do is to adopt what we produce in order to change our lifestyle,” he said.
Mr Rajaram was speaking at the launch of this year’s International Year of Millets (IYM) in Accra on Sunday.
The United Nations declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, following a proposal by India. The main aim of the initiative is to popularize millet by including it in our daily diet.
As part of an awareness campaign to promote millet-based diets in Ghana, the Commission celebrated the IYM alongside the ‘Food Festival of India.’
The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo, stated that the initiative was essential because of its effects on millions of farmers in Ghana, especially those in the northern sector.
He recommended the High Commissioner for hosting the event to highlight the importance of the cereal crop, and also share knowledge and country experiences about the use of millet consumption.
“Certainly there are economic and social benefits derived from millets and the Ministry fully embraces this effort. Millet aside from being affordable is known to have the intense nutrient composition needed by humanity for healthy growth development and sustenance,” he said.
Mr Addo also said that there was much to be done to fully harness the existing potential of Ghana’s agriculture to help transform the agricultural sector.
“India is certainly a trusted partner for operationalizing our vision for agriculture and we are therefore optimistic about partnering with India for mutual benefits as far as the development of agriculture is concerned,” he noted.
The Deputy Minister further said that the high patronage of millet, consumed as breakfast by Ghanaians, indirectly enhanced the income of small-scale farming, most of whom were women.
Millet, an ancient grain is the healthiest food for humanity, which can survive in a harsh environment. It has many advantages over other crops and is one of the most indigenous and essential cereal crops in Ghana. It is used mostly for massa, tuozafi and porridge.
This year’s food festival was intended to raise awareness and direct policy attention to the nutrition and health benefits of millets. The celebration saw members of the Indian and Ghanaian community savoring diverse cuisines and delicacies.
Awards were presented to contestants who took part in the ‘Millets in my food’ competition. There was a variety of food items from different states of India prepared with millets as well.
Dignitaries present at the event were the Deputy Health Minister, Mrs Tina Naa Ayele Mensah, the United Nations Representative to Ghana, the Editor of the Daily Graphic and the Dean of Diplomatic Corps.