Millets that are more nutritive than paddy and wheat were the popular food grains of the Telugu people in the past, but the majority began consuming polished food grains for the ‘snob value’, Lam Agriculture Research Station Associate Director R. Veeraraghavaiah has said. Inaugurating the Millet House established by the Agriculture Department as part of the Millet festival in the Krishna District Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition Society here on Friday, he said the cultivation of millet varieties decreased from 53 million hectares in 1955 to nine million hectares currently. There was a slight increase in the cultivation of millets in the rain-fed areas of Guntur and Prakasam districts because they need less water. Not only do millets require less water they were more resilient to pests, Mr. Veeraraghavaiah said.
He said the health of the people consuming polished rice had deteriorated and the incidence of diabetes had increased because of this. The different snacks that could be made with different varieties of millets like sorghaum (jonnalu), pearl millets, Italian millets, finger millets (raagi), little millets and Kodo millets were showcased at the festival. .
Guntur Agricultural JD Sridhar, Home Science Guntur OSD J. Lakshmi spoke.