The year 2023 is special for India. The year 2023 was declared as the International Year of millets based on the proposal shared by India and it also holds the presidency of G20 grouping. The country is undertaking multiple events and initiatives to promote awareness around millets and one of the interesting things that it has planned is to include millets in the meal plans of G20 meetings to be held across India over the whole year.
Millet awareness on agenda during G20 presidency
India is currently the President of the G20, a group of the world’s largest economies. The aim is to improve awareness and consumption of millets through such events and encourage the dignitaries of visiting nations to include millets in their diet.
Millets are a group of small-seeded cereal crops that have been a staple food in India for thousands of years, but their popularity has declined in recent times in favor of more widely known crops like rice and wheat. However, millets are a highly nutritious food source, and their promotion can have numerous health and environmental benefits. Currently, millets are majorly consumed in Asia, Africa and South East Asia. Increasing its awareness will help millet farmers reach a new audience and earn better livelihood.
India’s Push for the Year of Millets
The Indian government is promoting millets as a way to improve food security, enhance farmers’ livelihoods, and address the problem of malnutrition. By focusing on these goals India plans to achieve SDG’s and fight climate change in a sustainable manner.
To achieve these goals, and celebrate the International Year of Millets, India is planning to launch several initiatives, including:
Promoting millet production
The government plans to encourage the production of millets by providing financial and technical support to farmers, as well as promoting their cultivation through various programs and schemes.
Encouraging millet consumption
India will promote the consumption of millets by creating awareness about their health benefits, and by making them more accessible and affordable through public distribution systems and other food programs.
Supporting research and development
India will support research and development in the field of millets to help improve the yield and quality of crops, and to make them more sustainable and economically viable.
Creating a global millet network
India is planning to create a global network of countries and organizations working together to promote the cultivation and consumption of millets, and to share knowledge and best practices.
During the recent Mann Ki Baat, PM Narendra Modi, coined the world millet Prenuer and spoke about small businesses and startup’s that are developing businesses using millets. He specifically highlighted a self-help group of women in Odissa who make millet based cookies, biscuits and cakes.
By promoting millets during its G20 presidency, India hopes to bring attention to the numerous benefits of these crops, and to encourage other countries to follow its lead in promoting them. Millet is seen as bird feed in most of the European and Western countries. With many people moving to veganism, a good plant protein and nutrient rich food group is essential and millets can fill that vacuum. With culinary skills and research today, millets are not limited to roti’s and porridges or stews. At the recent G20 meeting the dignitaries tasted a slew of millet based recipes right from millet pizza’s to roti’s at the millet counter. India aims to include millets in every meeting to provide maximum push to the grain.
The promotion of millets can have numerous positive effects, including:
Improving food security
Millets are highly drought-resistant, and can be grown in areas where other crops may fail, making them a valuable source of food in regions prone to food insecurity.
Enhancing farmers’ livelihoods
By promoting the cultivation and consumption of millets, the Indian government aims to provide farmers with a more sustainable and profitable source of income, and to help improve their livelihoods.
Millets are a highly nutritious food source, and their promotion can help address the problem of malnutrition in India and other countries.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Millets are less carbon-intensive than other crops, and their promotion can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.
India’s plans to promote millet awareness during its G20 presidency have the potential to have a significant impact on food security, farmers’ livelihoods, and the health of populations around the world. By putting millets on the agenda, India hopes to encourage other countries to follow its lead in promoting this highly nutritious and sustainable crop and achieve food and planet security.
Skyroots is proud to be a Made in India, millet prenuer, helping promote healthy eating in India and supporting small millet farmers.