The Government of India and the United Nations have declared 2022-23 as the International Year of Millets. The International Year of Millets stands to provide a unique opportunity to increase global production, ensure efficient processing and consumption, promote a better utilization of crop rotations, and encourage better connectivity throughout food systems to promote millets as a key component of the food basket.
Millets are among the first plants to be domesticated and are considered “nutri-cereals” due to their high nutritional content. They have served as a traditional staple for hundreds of millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia for 7 000 years, and are now cultivated across the world. However, their cultivation is declining in many countries, and their potential to address climate change and food security is not being realized in full. This is despite the fact that millets can grow on relatively poor soils and under adverse and arid conditions, with comparatively fewer inputs than other cereals.
The need to promote the diversity and nutritional and ecological benefit of millets to consumers, producers, value chain actors, and decision makers is timely, and can improve food sector linkages.
As such, a proposal for an International Year of Millets (2023) was brought forward by the Government of India and endorsed by Members of FAO Governing Bodies and proclaimed by the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly to facilitate the implementation of the year in 2023.
The International Year will (i) elevate awareness of the contribution of millets for food security and nutrition (ii) inspire stakeholders on improving sustainable production and quality of millets; and (iii) draw focus for enhanced investment in research and development and extension services to achieve the other two aims.
- Increase awareness of contribution of millets to food and national security
- Inspire all stakeholders including national governments to work towards improving sustainable production and quality of millets
- Draw focus for enhanced investment in research and development, technical networks and extension services.
Why Millets ?
- Unique Global Diversity
- Hard Crops
- High Nutritional Content
- Great Opportunity
Steps taken by India
- National year for Millets 2018
- Launched Sub-Mission on Millets under national food security Mission
- State missions launched in Karnataka, Odisha, Tamilnadu, Chhattisgarh
- Millets included under Poshan Mishion Abhiyan
- 200 startups supported (turnover > Rs. 320cr)
- Technology backstopping for 400+ entrepreneurs
- 67 value added technologies developed at centre of excellences
- Export of Millets increased from $ 24 million to $26 Million
- Release of High Yielding Varieties including 10 biofortified varities