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India Launches Five-Day Millets Festival in Indonesia

One of the festival's key attractions is the live cooking workshop, featuring renowned chefs from India and Indonesia who will demonstrate the culinary versatility of millets.

Shivangi Rai
Indian and Indonesian companies participating in ASEAN-India Millet Festival came together at the Embassy of India in Indonesia for a B2B meeting. (Photo: Twitter/International Year Of Millets 2023)
Indian and Indonesian companies participating in ASEAN-India Millet Festival came together at the Embassy of India in Indonesia for a B2B meeting. (Photo: Twitter/International Year Of Millets 2023)

The Indian Mission to ASEAN, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, launched a five-day Millets Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia in an effort to promote millets and millet-based products within the ASEAN region.

This strategic move aims to create awareness and establish a market for millets among the 10 ASEAN member countries.

The initiative gained significance following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's participation in the ASEAN-India Summit and East Asia Summit on September 7.

During the ASEAN-India summit, a joint statement emphasizing food security was adopted. The subsequent Millets Festival, occurring just two months later, reflects the effectiveness of the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and ASEAN, according to India's Ambassador to ASEAN, Jayant Khobragade.

Millets, considered crucial for ensuring food security, are positioned within the broader framework of the ASEAN-India relationship. The Millets Festival witness’s representation not only from Indian farmers and industrialists but also from ASEAN member states, showcasing a shared interest in the promotion of millets.

Highlighting the global significance of millets, Khobragade emphasized their role in addressing hunger and nutrient deficiencies. The festival, named the 'ASEAN-India Millets Festival,' kicked off on November 22 and features a Millet-centric exhibition at the Kota Kasablanka Mall in south Jakarta. This exhibition includes participation from Millet-based Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), start-ups, and Indian chefs.

Arief Prasetyo Adi, Head of the National Food Agency in Indonesia, acknowledged millets as a farmer-friendly and sustainable food choice for the future, especially in the context of climate change. He sees the festival as an opportunity to raise awareness about the benefits of millet, ranging from nutritional value and environmental sustainability to economic development.

Millets, known for their ability to grow in arid lands with minimal inputs and resilience to climate change, are positioned as an ideal solution for countries aiming to enhance self-sufficiency and reduce dependence on imported cereal grains.

India, leading the charge, spearheaded a UN General Assembly Resolution declaring the year 2023 as the 'International Year of Millets,' addressing global food security challenges. The initiative also seeks to promote the sustainable production of millets, showcasing their potential to provide new market opportunities.

The 'ASEAN-India Millets Festival' not only creates a market for millets and millet-based products but also fosters collaboration among ASEAN countries. The exhibition celebrates cultural and culinary diversity while promoting sustainable millet practices for a healthier future.

The festival includes the participation of five Indian FPOs and two start-ups showcasing unique millet-added products such as cookies, namkeen, khakhra, cakes, and more. Representatives from these organizations shared success stories, illustrating the growing demands for millet-based products.

A significant component of the festival is the live cooking workshop featuring celebrity chefs from India and Indonesia. This showcases the culinary potential of millets, adding a flavourful dimension to their promotion.

With the ASEAN-India Millets Festival, the 10 member countries of ASEAN—Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia—come together to explore and embrace the diverse and sustainable world of millets.

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