Researchers from CUO identified nutrition rich little millet (Suan) from Koraput Valley

Koraput: Researchers from the 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 for making high-value functional foods in the food industry.

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 the nutritional profiling of 14 indigenous little millet genotypes cultivated by tribal farmers from Koraput.

They have identified three indigenous little millets such as Mami, Kalia, and Bada, which 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. R

ecently, their findings of research were published in the 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.

Vice-Chancellor of CUO, Prof. Chakradhar Tripathy, and Prof. S. K. Palita, Dean of the 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 essential climate-resilient tribal crops domesticated in the Eastern Ghats of India by most of the primitive tribes.

Due to modern agricultural practices and the green revolution, Dr. Panda said these vital genetic resources of little millet are being gradually depleted. We must take the necessary steps to conserve this nutrition-rich little millet in its natural habitat. A strategy to promote commercial production of this indigenous little millet is required to boost the local economy and create a market to reach more significant consumers.

This nutrition-rich little millet can be used to develop new varieties to address the nutritional security of tribal people and can be used in the food industry for making high-value functional foods, said Dr. Panda.