In a message to the Food and Agriculture Organisation that launched the International Year of Millets on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a global mass millet to grow and consume millets.
In his message on the inclusion of millets in battling global hinger and climate change PM Modi said:
“I would like to congratulate the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organisation for the launch of the International Year of Millets 2023.
I also express my appreciation to the different member nations who supported our proposal to mark the International Year of Millets.
India will steer celebration of International Millet Year 2023: PM Modi
via NaMo App pic.twitter.com/HTMNp4shFF
— Purnesh Modi (@purneshmodi) December 7, 2022
Millets have a glorious history of being among the earliest crops grown by humans. They have been an important food source in the past. But the need of the hour is to make them a food choice for the future!
A once-in-a-century pandemic followed by a conflict situation has shown that food security is still a concern for the planet. Climate change can also impact food availability.
At such a time, a global movement related to millets is an important step, since they are easy to grow, climate resilient and drought resistant.
Millets are good for the consumer, cultivator and climate. They are a rich source of balanced nutrition for consumers. They benefit cultivators and our environment since they need lesser water and are compatible with natural ways of farming.
There is a need for diversity on the land and on our tables. If agriculture becomes monoculture, it impacts our health and the health of our lands. Millets are a good way to increase agricultural and dietary diversity.
Raising awareness to create ‘Millet Mindfulness’ is an important part of this movement. Both institutions and individuals can make a tremendous impact.
Hon'ble PM Shri Narendra Modi conveyed his warm wishes and regards on the opening ceremony of the International Year of Millets 2023.#IYM2023 #MilletsYear #agrigoi @narendramodi @PMOIndia @nstomar @ShobhaBJP @FAO @PBNS_India @icarindia @nutrihubtbi @Shubha671 @PIB_India pic.twitter.com/l0KNigbgvT
— Agriculture INDIA (@AgriGoI) December 6, 2022
While institutional mechanisms can encourage production of millets and make it profitable via policy initiatives, individuals can make health-conscious and planet-friendly choices by making millets a part of their diet.
I am positive that the International Year of Millets 2023 will start a mass movement towards a secure, sustainable and healthy future.”
Earlier the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has unanimously adopted a resolution sponsored by India and supported by 70 countries to declare 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
India, along with Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia and Senegal, had tabled the draft resolution entitled ‘International Year of Millets 2023’ to raise awareness and direct policy action to the nutritional and health benefits of millets consumption and their suitability for cultivation under adverse and changing climatic conditions.
Millets, often called ‘nutri-cereals’, encompass a diverse group of cereals and were among the first plants that were domesticated and have served as a traditional staple crop for millions of families in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. More than 90 per cent of millet production today takes place in developing countries of Africa and Asia.
Millets can survive in adverse climatic conditions and provide high energy, high dietary fibre, proteins, many essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, all of which play a substantial role in lowering diabetes. The diversity of millets offers opportunities for economic development through income-generating activities in the food sector.
Capable of growing on poor soils with little or no inputs, millets have a low carbon and water footprint and are resistant to many crop diseases and pests.
Also Read: Explained: Why 2023 will be the International Year of Millets