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Opening Ceremony kick-starts Millet Year 2023 in FAO Headquarters

The opening ceremony of International Year of Millets 2023, kick-started on Monday at the Food and Agricultural Organization Headquarters in Rome, Italy. Shobha Karandlaje, Minister of State for Agriculture led an Indian delegation at the ceremony, where she conveyed PM Modi’s message to the FAO.

Stuti Das
IYM2023 begins with addresses from Shobha Karadlaje, QU Dongyu
IYM2023 begins with addresses from Shobha Karadlaje, QU Dongyu

PM Modi’s message was put across by Shobha Karadlaje at the opening ceremony of IYM2023, expressing his gratitude towards the UN and FAO in declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets. The launch was supported by 70 nations across the world as they participated in this United Nations Resolution.

PM Modi conveyed that, “Raising awareness to create 'Millet Mindfulness' is an important part of this movement. Both institutions and individuals can make a tremendous impact. While institutional mechanisms can encourage production of millets and make it profitable via policy initiatives, individuals can make health-conscious and planet-friendly choices by making millets a part of their diet.”

Shobha Karandlaje, Minister of State for Agriculture was accompanied by Smt. Shubha Thakur, Joint Secretary (Crops), DA & FW along with other senior officials who were present at the opening ceremony as representatives of India.


In her speech, the Minister of State for Agriculture, shed light on the need for collaborative efforts by all nations in order to develop a sustainable future. Millets are of paramount importance in the process of fulfillment of the vision of bringing ancient food grains through IYM2023. India aims to be useful in materializing the campaigns that would promote millet cultivation and consumption around the globe during the period of next year.

Shobha Karandlaje also said that: “The IYM2023 will lead India towards Food and Nutritional Security.” To demarcate the relevance of the day in India, the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA & FW) has already ventured into initiatives which include social media campaigns across platforms promoting Millets as a ‘Smart Food’ and its importance as a food grain for a more comprehensive understanding of the masses as to why its an important year.

The Director General, FAO QU Dongyu, speaking on the opening ceremony, elucidated that: “The IYM2023 will provide us with a unique opportunity to give visibility to crops that have great potential to strengthen global nutrition, food security, decent jobs & economies, while accelerating Climate Action.” He also added, “Millets are basically Asian crops, climate resilient, lead to sustainable development and help ensure Food Security & Nutrition for all.”

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