Millet is much healthier than the rice or wheat we eat every day and offers a completely different value proposition at a time when global food shortages are a concern, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said.
Addressing members of the Indian diaspora here in the Austrian capital on Sunday, Jaishankar said India could grow millet, which could provide a solution to the world’s growing food needs.
The government announced on January 1 that it is planning a series of millet-centric promotional activities across the country to coincide with the start of the International Millet Year (IYM).
Millet is much healthier than the cereals, rice and wheat we eat every day. It contains much less fresh water and is carbon friendly.
In today’s world of food shortages, millet offers an entirely different value proposition. In fact, for every 5 kg of wheat grown in India today, 1 kg of millet is grown and consumed, he said.
Millet was one of the first domesticated crops in India and there is some evidence of its consumption during the Indus civilization. Today, millet is grown in over 130 countries and is considered a traditional food for her over 500 million people in Asia and Africa.
can actually grow. This is the solution to many of our growing food needs. Not only us, but also many countries in Africa, Asia and parts of the Middle East, said Jaishankar, who arrived in Austria from Cyprus on the second leg of his two-country tour.
In India, millet is primarily a caliphate crop and requires less water and agricultural inputs than other similar staples. Millet is important because it has enormous potential to generate livelihoods, increase farmers’ incomes and ensure food and nutrition security around the world.
Millet is also an integral part of the G-20 conference, giving attendees a true millet experience through tastings, meetings with farmers and interactive sessions with start-ups and FPOs.
During our G20 presidency, I and the Prime Minister hoped that all foreign visitors we receive in India would make a significant portion of their meals millet-based today, and in fact they are already doing so today.
On December 6th, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations held the opening ceremony of the IYM in Rome, Italy. The Government of India held a special ‘millet luncheon’ for parliamentarians at the Houses of Parliament.
Recognizing the enormous potential of millet, which is also aligned with several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), India is prioritizing millet. In April 2018, Millet was rebranded as Nutri Cereal and 2018 was declared the National Year of Millet.
The United Nations declaration as IYM 2023 is a way for India to be at the forefront in celebrating the Year of the Millet. Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his vision of making IYM 2023 a ‘people’s movement’ and positioning India as a ‘global millet hub’.
The global millet market is projected to register a CAGR of 4.5% during 2021-2026.
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