BENGALURU: The mid-day meal programme in the state will be more nutritious soon, as the state government has decided to include millets in it. In the first phase, over 1,000 children studying in Bengaluru schools will get the ‘millet meals’ as it is being launched in Bengaluru on a pilot basis.
This is a joint initiative of the departments of agriculture and education in association with Non-Profit Organisation Akshaya Patra Foundation, which is already a partner of the education department in providing mid-day meals. As per the information available, State Agriculture Minister Krishna Byregowda will be launching the scheme on January 11, 2018 at one of the government schools in his constituency.
Meanwhile, the health and growth of these 1,000 kids will be monitored for 6 to 8 months and based on the report, government will think of extending it to other schools and also across the state.
Presently, the kids are getting white rice, wheat, pulses and vegetables. Now, according to information, millet rice is going to replace the white rice, and even the sweet which was provided on Wednesdays and Fridays, will be prepared using millets.
This initiative is mainly to provide more nutritious food to school kids and also to help farmers as millets can be grown in dry land with less water. Recently, Akshaya Patra launched this initiative in Hyderabad and Tamil Nadu has already included millets in its mid-day meal project.
“The aim is to overcome nutritional issues of school children and bringing nutritious values of traditional millets into the modern food practice. According to a research, malnutrition is caused due to lack of protein supply and millets are high in protein,” mentioned a senior official of the agriculture department.