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International Year of Millets 2023 Kick Starts Today

The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has chosen a proactive multi-stakeholder engagement strategy in order to accomplish the objective of IYM 2023 and propagate Indian millets around the world

Ayushi Sikarwar
Millets (File Image)

The International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023 initiative, supported by the Indian government and led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was approved by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in the previous year. The step has been crucial in allowing the Government of India to lead the way in IYM celebrations.

PM Modi discussed his goal of making IYM 2023 a "People's Movement" and establishing India as a "Global Hub for Millets" with the concerned authorities and officials on Sunday.

As per the document issued by the Centre on Jan 1, one of the first crops to be domesticated in India was millets, and there are numerous examples of its consumption from the Indus Valley culture. Millets are currently grown in more than 130 countries and represent a staple diet for more than 500 million people in Asia and Africa. Millets are largely a kharif crop in India and require less water and agricultural inputs than other staple foods of a similar nature. Millets are significant due to their enormous potential to support livelihoods, boost farmer income, and guarantee global food & nutritional security.

The Government of India (GoI) has prioritized millets because of their huge potential and alignment with numerous UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to increase marketing and demand generation, millets were rebranded as "Nutri Cereals" in April 2018, and 2018 was subsequently named the National Year of Millets. During the forecast period of 2021–2026, the worldwide millets market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.5 per cent.

The International Year of Millets - 2023 kicked out with an inaugural ceremony held by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Rome, Italy, on December 6, 2022. A group of senior Indian government officials attended the occasion. Next in the series, the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare sponsored a special "Millet Luncheon" for the Members of the Parliament in the Parliament house preparatory to the year-long celebration of IYM 2023.

According to the statement released by the government, in order to achieve the goal of IYM 2023 and spread Indian millets around the world, the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has adopted a proactive multi-stakeholder engagement approach (involving all the central government ministries, states/UTs, farmers, start-ups, exporters, retail businesses, hotels, Indian Embassies, etc).

Ministries, states, and Indian embassies have been given emphasis months in 2023 to conduct a variety of IYM-related activities and raise public awareness of the advantages of millets for consumers, farmers, and the environment, it added.

The statement further said the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, FSSAI, and other ministries have events scheduled for January, including Millet Fair-cum-Exhibitions in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh and Eat Right Melas in Punjab, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

With regard to states, the month of January has been allotted to Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, and Rajasthan for carrying out particular activities for sensitization and promotion of IYM. The states will conduct millet-focused activities including mahotsavs, melas, and food festivals, farmer training, awareness campaigns, workshops, and seminars, the erection of hoardings at strategic areas around the state, the distribution of promotional materials, etc. Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, and Punjab are among the other states that are hosting comparable events in January.


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