Researchers from Central University of Odisha identified some nutrition-rich little millets(Suan) cultivated by the tribal people from Koraput of Eastern Ghats of India. These nutrition-rich little millet genotypes will address nutritional security to tribal inhabitants and have great potential in food industry for making high-value functional foods.
The group of researchers led by Dr Debabrata Panda, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural Resources at the Central University of Odisha studied nutritional profiling of 14 indigenous little millets genotypes cultivated by tribal farmers from Koraput. They have identified three indigenous little millets such as Mami, Kalia and Bada showed better nutritional compositions (higher content of protein, fiber, ash, energy, flavonoid, vitamin C, antioxidants, iron and zinc) and are nutritionally superior compared to improved variety OLM 208(developed by OUAT, Berhampur)and other varieties of the locality. Recently, their findings of Research published in International Springer Nature Journal“ Planta” on 13th January 2024 along with his students Pramila Muni and Aloukika Panda and Scientists from Swaminathan foundation, Jeypore: Dr. Kartik Lenka and Mr. Prasanta Kumar Parida.
Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of CUO, Prof. Chakradhar Tripathy and Prof. S. K. Palita, Dean School of Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural Resources have congratulated the researchers for this outstanding contribution to the Millet Research and especially to tribal crops.
Little millet is one of the important climate-resilient tribal crops domesticated in Eastern Ghats of India by most of the primitive tribes. Dr. Panda said Now-a-days due to modern agricultural practices and green revolution these vital genetic resources of little millet are being gradually depleted. It is high time that we take necessary steps to conserve this nutrition rich little millet in their natural habitat. A strategy to promote commercial production of these indigenous little millet is required to boost the local economy and create market so as to reach larger consumers. This nutrition rich little millet can be used for the development of new varieties to address nutritional security of tribal people and can be used in food industry for making high value functional foods said by Dr. Panda.