ITC LAUNCHES ‘SHREE ANNA’ STAMP TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF MILLETS
Millets are a diverse group of small-seeded grains, including sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet, foxtail millet, and others, which have been cultivated for thousands of years and play a vital role in the diets of many communities worldwide.
studio18 Last Updated:July 27, 2023 14:13:35 IST
Earlier in 2023, ITC Ltd. launched the ‘Mission Millets’ initiative in collaboration with News18, aligned with the United Nations’ declaration of the International Year of Millets. The unveiling of this special stamp reinforces ITC’s commitment to promoting the sustainable cultivation and consumption of millets in everyday foods, as the initiative not only supports the environment but also provides nutritious food options for the people of India.
Millets are a diverse group of small-seeded grains, including sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet, foxtail millet, and others, which have been cultivated for thousands of years and play a vital role in the diets of many communities worldwide. The International Year of Millets 2023, declared by the United Nations, marks a crucial milestone in recognizing the value of millets as a key solution to several pressing global challenges.
This initiative aims to raise awareness about the unique attributes of millets and their immense potential to contribute to food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture.
By promoting millets as part of a balanced diet, the International Year of Millets seeks to address malnutrition and enhance food and nutrition security worldwide. During this special year, countries are encouraged to implement policies and initiatives that support millets’ production, processing, marketing, and consumption.
ITC have been empowering farmers with knowledge of soil, crop, and farming techniques, and assisting them in achieving better production, thus enhancing their livelihoods. The Mission encourages trying out various millet-based products to develop a taste for these nutritious grains.
Importance of Millet in the food system
Nutritional Powerhouses: Millets are rich in essential nutrients like dietary fiber, proteins, vitamins (B-complex), and minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium). Their nutritional profile makes them valuable in combating malnutrition and supporting overall health.Climate Resilience: Millets are highly adaptive to various climatic conditions, including drought and high temperatures. Their ability to thrive in challenging environments makes them a dependable crop for regions facing climate change and water scarcity.Sustainable Farming: Millets are low-input crops, meaning they require fewer resources like water, fertilizers, and pesticides compared to other staple grains. Promoting millet cultivation can reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and conserve natural resources.Reducing Food Waste: Millets have a longer shelf life than some other grains, reducing the likelihood of food waste. Their resilience allows them to remain fresh for longer, supporting food security and sustainability.
Mission Millets’ Stamp:
Stamps have always been treasured collector’s items that commemorate significant people, moments, or initiatives. The ‘Shree Anna’ stamp brings to life the importance of millets in both agriculture and food.
The stamp features captivating sketch illustrations that showcase ITC Ltd.’s dedication to promote the cultivation & consumption of millets. It beautifully captures the journey of millets from Indian farms to ITC’s food production factories, where they are transformed into nutritious dishes prepared by expert chefs from ITC Hotels.
The earthy colours used in the illustrations are inspired by Mission Millets logo, symbolizing millets as the golden crop of India. The stamp also highlights the Government of India’s focus on nutrition and its seven guiding principles for the Indian Millets Mission 2023, celebrating the International Year of Millets. To emphasize this connection, the stamp design thoughtfully incorporates the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav logo.
Connecting Agriculture, Food and Heritage
The ‘Shree Anna’ stamp stands out as a truly distinctive initiative that celebrates the significance of millets in both agriculture and food, while also incorporating the heritage of the country.
Heritage Meets Nutrition:The stamp merges the heritage of India, with the vital theme of nutrition and sustainable agriculture.Symbolizing the Golden Crop:The earthy colors used in the illustrations represent the golden crop of India – millets.Elevating Awareness through Engagement:The incorporation of a small, fun quiz on millets further elevates awareness about these nutritious grains.
You can also show your support for millet revolution in India by owning a piece of history, the limited-edition digital collective stamps. To participate, visit www.betterwithmillets.com, take the pledge to become a millet advocate and share it on social media using the hashtags #ITCMissionMillets and #PledgeforMissionMillet. Moreover, you can also take a small, fun quiz to check and enhance your knowledge about millets. Lucky winners will be selected through a draw and awarded digital collective stamps along with a hamper of ITC Ltd.’s millet products.
About ITC Ltd.’s Mission Millets:
Developing Healthy Products: ITC Foods is creating a portfolio of good-for-you products that include millets. They have introduced Sunfeast Farmlite Millet biscuits and Aashirvaad Ragi & Multi-Millet Flour, with plans to introduce more millet-based products like noodles, pasta, vermicelli, and choco sticks. These offerings provide tasty and healthy choices for consumers and promote increased consumption of millets.Implementing Sustainable Farming Systems: ITC Ltd. is working closely with farmers, educating them about the benefits of growing millets. Farmers now see millets as climate-resilient crops with the potential to yield higher incomes. This sustainable farming approach supports both the environment and farmers’ livelihoods.Enhancing Consumer Awareness: ITC’s Food and agri-businesses are creating awareness and understanding about millets among farmers, growers, and end consumers. This education aims to highlight the nutritional benefits of millets and encourage people to include them in their daily diet.
Through the Mission Millets campaign, ITC and News18 are making efforts to create a positive impact on Indian agriculture, health, and the environment. Their commitment to empowering farmers, developing healthy products, and raising consumer awareness is revolutionizing the way India eats, contributing to a healthier and more sustainable future for all.
Join the millet revolution to bring the much needed change. Visit www.news18.com/missionmillets to know more.