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NITI Aayog and WFP Cultivate a Global Millet Movement with Inspiring Compendium Launch

The launch of this compendium represents a significant milestone in the global effort to promote sustainable agriculture and ensure food security through the widespread adoption of millets.

Shivam Dwivedi
NITI Aayog and WFP Cultivate a Global Millet Movement with Inspiring Compendium Launch (Photo Source: @NITIAayog/twitter)
NITI Aayog and WFP Cultivate a Global Millet Movement with Inspiring Compendium Launch (Photo Source: @NITIAayog/twitter)

A compendium featuring compelling field stories from Asian and African nations, with particular emphasis on India, was released in New Delhi today, marking a significant step towards the promotion of sustainable agricultural methods and the improvement of food security. The compendium marks the culmination of the Mapping and Exchange of Good Practices (MEGP) Initiative for Millets Mainstreaming in Asia and Africa, a collaborative effort initiated in July 2022 by NITI Aayog and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The primary objective of the compendium is to facilitate capacity building and scale up best practices in the global adoption of millets. Millets, known for their climate resilience, nutritional benefits, and positive impact on small farmers' livelihoods, have gained prominence, especially in India, during the International Year of Millets in 2023.

A Successful Collaboration

Speaking at the launch, Suman Bery, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, commended the successful collaboration between NITI Aayog and WFP, expressing that India had successfully promoted millets for climate resilience, food security, and small farmers' livelihoods, especially for women. He mentioned that the stories on millet mainstreaming would inspire practitioners and institutions to learn from the diverse good practices brought together.

Role of Millets in Health and Lifestyle Choices

Bery emphasized the need to make millets more fashionable or popular due to their health benefits, especially in the context of lifestyle-related choices. The compendium aims to serve as a comprehensive resource, showcasing successful models of millet adoption and promoting their integration into mainstream food systems.

Expert Insights on Food Security

Elisabeth Faure, the Country Director of WFP, India, emphasized the significance of collaboration in enhancing the food security of small farmers. She stated that collaboration, involving expert deployment, knowledge transfer, policy dialogue, and study visits, constitutes a crucial strategy for WFP in India. Faure further mentioned that the compendium incorporates inspiring case stories aimed at assisting countries in learning and investing in traditional climate-resilient crops like millet.

Reference for Informed Decision-Making

The compendium is expected to serve as a valuable reference for integrating millets into mainstream food systems. It offers insights for making informed decisions and encourages exchange through South-South Cooperation and policy dialogues.

Key Discussion Points

During the launch, common strands in the open discussion included the promotion of millets as a staple food, dietary diversification through millets, and a focused increase in investments and productivity. Notable figures present at the launch and discussion included Pradnya Paithankar (Head of Unit- Climate Change, Resilient Food Systems and DRR, WFP), Dr. Rajeshwar Chandel (Vice Chancellor, Dr. Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Himachal Pradesh), Sanjay Aggarwal (Assistant Director General, ICRISAT), and Chef Manjit Gill (President, Indian Federation of Culinary Associations).

The showcased field stories provide valuable insights and inspiration for countries looking to enhance their agricultural practices and make informed choices in promoting climate-resilient crops.

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