Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that it is a matter of great honour that due to India’s proposal and efforts, the UN has declared 2023 as ‘International Year of Millets’.
Addressing the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference’ in New Delhi, PM Modi said that India is holding the presidency of the G20 and India’s motto of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’, of considering the whole world as a family, is also reflected in the declaration of the International Year of Millets this year.
He said that when India takes up popularising of any important issue, like of yoga, then it is India’s endeavour to see that the benefits should reach across the world, like of International Day of Yoga.
He said that similarly, the International Solar Alliance is also part of India’s effort towards creating an effective platform for a sustainable planet.
He said Shree Anna, or millets, is a source of nutrition for crores of people in the country and popularising millets will also open the door to prosperity for small farmers.
The PM said that India has worked consistently towards making millets a global movement and in 2018, millets were declared as ‘Nutri Cereals’.
He emphasised that the mission to popularise millets would be a blessing for 2.5 crore small farmers. “The Shree Anna market will benefit them and the associated ecosystem. This will also strengthen the rural economy,” he added.
The PM also released a postal stamp and unveiled the official coin of the International Year of Millets 2023 at the conference held in Pusa Institute, New Delhi.
The PM said that in order to give a boost to the country’s food processing sector, a PLI scheme for millets has also been started. “Including millets in the midday meals can blend health and taste into our children’s diet,” he added.
“Millets has high fibre, and is considered to be very beneficial for health and can help prevent lifestyle diseases,” the PM added.
“Climate resilience is a big strength of millets, the water requirement for cultivation is also low, making it a great crop for water-scarce countries,” he said.
According to a statement, the year 2023 will witness a year-long campaign and several activities nationally and globally for increased adoption and promotion of millets.
During the two-day Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference, parallel conferences and technical sessions will be held for all the delegates and participants by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and industry associations, such as Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) deliberating on topics related to millets value chain, health & nutritional benefits of millets, climate change and sustainability.
On December 6, 2022, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations organized an official Opening Ceremony for the International Year of Millets – 2023 at Rome, Italy.
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYM) on March 5, 2021. The proposal submitted by the Government of India was supported by 72 countries. Through this declaration, the UNGA aims to elevate awareness of nutri-cereals (millets) for food security and nutrition, enhance investment in R&D and extension, and to inspire stakeholders towards improving production productivity and quality of millets. The Government of India (GOI) aims to make IYM 2023 a people’s movement for the overall benefit of the Cultivator, Consumer and Climate, the statement said.