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India's Addl. Secy Maninder Kaur Dwivedi Highlights Millet Ecosystem's Vital Role at FAO's IYM 2023 Closing Ceremony

As the curtains draw on the IYM 2023, the closing ceremony serves as a testament to the global commitment towards harnessing the potential of millets for a healthier future.

Shivam Dwivedi
Global Leaders Celebrate Success: Closing Ceremony of International Year of Millets 2023 at FAO Headquarters, Rome
Global Leaders Celebrate Success: Closing Ceremony of International Year of Millets 2023 at FAO Headquarters, Rome

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) marked the culmination of the International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023 with a prestigious closing ceremony held on March 29, 2024, at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. The event, which embraced a hybrid format allowing both in-person and virtual participation, brought together distinguished guests and experts from around the globe to reflect on the achievements of the past year and chart a course for the future of millet cultivation and consumption.

Recognizing India's Contribution

Maninder Kaur Dwivedi, Additional Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, representing the Government of India, reiterated the importance of India's vibrant millet ecosystem. She highlighted the collaborative efforts of startups, industries, and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in promoting and adopting millets, underscoring their crucial role in enhancing food security and nutrition.

Dr. QU Dongyu, Director-General of FAO, commended the international community for its dedication to advancing millet-related initiatives. In his opening remarks, he emphasized the pivotal role of millets in achieving food security and nutrition for all, acknowledging their resilience in adverse climatic conditions.

Strategies for Integration in Nigeria

Yaya Adisa Olaitan Olaniran, Minister and Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to FAO, shed light on the significance of millets in Nigeria. He outlined strategies for integrating millet cultivation into sustainable agricultural practices, recognizing the potential of millets to address food security challenges in the region.

The ceremony featured a captivating video showcasing the diverse range of activities and events organized during the International Year of Millets 2023, highlighting its global impact. Deputy Director-General of FAO, Beth Bechdol, concluded the event by expressing gratitude to all participants for their unwavering commitment. She emphasized the importance of sustaining momentum in promoting millets beyond the designated year.

The declaration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets by the United Nations General Assembly marked a significant milestone in raising awareness about the nutritional and health benefits of millet consumption. The closing ceremony provided an opportunity to assess the accomplishments and lessons learned from IYM 2023 and identify priorities for future investments.

Millets-A Global Superfood

Insightful discussions and presentations during the event underscored the importance of millets in achieving sustainable development goals. Dr. C Tara Satyavathi, Director of ICAR-IIMR, shared insights into India's research and development endeavors aimed at developing a robust millets value chain. A roundtable discussion on 'Research and Development for the Millets Sector' convened as part of the closing ceremony highlighted India's efforts in this regard.

A special exhibition featuring millet value-added products from around the world provided attendees with a glimpse into the diverse applications of millets. Live cooking demonstrations further emphasized the versatility and culinary potential of millets, showcasing them as a nutritious and sustainable food choice.

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