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What is MIIRA, India's Initiative to Promote Millets Worldwide?

India will provide initial 'seed money', and each G20 member will then be expected to contribute to its budget in the form of a membership fee for the new initiative

Ayushi Sikarwar
Millets (File Image)

A proposal to start a worldwide campaign to promote millet consumption and production has been initiated by India. On February 13–15, during the first Agriculture Deputies Meeting under the Agriculture Working Group (AWG) in Indore, the draft of the suggested initiative, MIIRA, was presented.

According to sources in the Agriculture Ministry, MIIRA (Millet International Initiative for Research and Understanding) will be responsible for coordinating millet study initiatives around the world. It is consistent with the UN's decision to designate 2023 as the International Year of Millets, which was proposed by India and backed by 72 nations.

To increase public awareness of millets, enhance their production and quality, and draw in investment, the International Year will see a number of events and activities, including conferences, issuance of stamps and coins, among others. The Center also wants to turn India into a major exporter of millets.

India will provide the 'seed money' for MIIRA to take off, and each G20 member will subsequently be required to pay to its budget in the form of a membership fee. According to the sources, the MIIRA secretariat will be located in Delhi, and given that India is a major producer of millets, this will guarantee a flow of investment from the nation's industry and research organisations.

As per the reports, MIIRA will link millet research organisations around the globe and also fund study on these crops. This is important because during India's G20 Presidency, issues like food security and nutrition are among the top priorities in the agriculture sector. Beginning on December 1, 2022, India will preside over the G20.

The idea is to create awareness for promoting millet consumption in addition to creating a web platform to connect researchers and hosting foreign research conferences.

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