The humble millet has taken centre stage at the Millet Mela (Siridhanya Mela) which got under way at the Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry here on Saturday.
The two-day mela was inaugurated in a novel manner as farmer couple Naggappa Nimbegundi and Hallamma of Hirekerur ground some millet in a grinding stone.
The event has been organised under the aegis of a group of progressive farmers, including Sahaja Samrudha, in association with the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), National Agricultural Innovation Project, and UAS, Dharwad. There are over 30 stalls selling organic agricultural produce as well as various dishes made using millet.
One of the varieties on sale is the foxtail millet (navane). Described as a gluten-free grain, it is second most commonly grown variety.
Krishna Prasad of Sajaha Samrudha pointed out that millets have been part of people's diet from time immemorial and added that millets were found at the ancient sites of Harappa and Mohenjodaro.
There are ample references to millets even in Vedic scriptures such as Sathapatha Brahmana.
K.C. Raghu of Pristine Organics, Bangalore, said that was unfortunate that millets had vanished from the menu and had been replaced by rice and wheat, due to which lifestyle diseases had become increasingly prevalent.