New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) Diversified entity ITC Ltd on Wednesday announced an initiative to promote millets in food as part of its steps to ensure food and nutritional security in the wake of challenges from climate change.
The company will be putting together strengths of its agriculture, food and hospitality business verticals to promote millets with plans to introduce products with the cereal in most of its categories.
Due to climate change, long period of extreme weather events raise a big issue of food and nutritional security despite all the steps taken up for decarbonisation and its mitigation, ITC Ltd Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Puri said addressing a virtual press conference.
"I think it (millets) can certainly play a significant role in addressing this issue because millet is nutritious, planet-friendly and resilient. Millet uses 70 per cent less water than rice. It has 40 per cent less use of energy as compared to wheat in processing. It grows in half the time as wheat grows," he asserted.
With the UN declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets, guided by the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Puri said ITC has also "decided that we will bring all our enterprise strengths together and we will collectively put our shoulder to it and give a big push in this area." "In most of our categories, we will find variants with inclusion of millets. We will also find, where feasible, products made out of 100 per cent millets. We will also find things like multi millet mix that gives the opportunity for consumers to add a little bit to whatever they are preparing and start going through the journey of welding that kind of taste...," he added.
ITC has already introduced a number of millet-based products under the Aashirvaad Nature Superfoods brand, including ragi flour, gluten free atta, multi-millet mix. It is further developing a comprehensive millets-based portfolio under popular brand names and in familiar formats to enable easier adoption.
The company plans to launch millet-based noodles and millet pasta under YiPPee! brand, Ragi vermicelli, multi millet dosa mix, multi millet rava idli mix under Aashirvaad brand, 100 per cent multi millet-based cookies under Sunfeast, millet choco-sticks confectionary under Candyman Fantastik brand and millet-based snacks under Bingo! Puri said under ITC Mission Millet, the company's agri, foods and hospitality businesses will work on initiatives to build awareness on millets focused on educating consumers, empowering farmers.
The company will seek to encourage trials through various millet-based range of products and formats to help build the taste; make millets more palatable and tastier by sharing healthy recipes, tips and hacks. PTI RKL SHW