Did you know that the coming year is the year of millets?
But what is this declaration and why is the year 2023 being observed as the International year of millets?
And did you know that this declaration has a deep India connection?
To know all this and more, read further and find some interesting nuggets of information.
Declaration of the International year of millets
Government of India decided to put forward a proposal to United Nations for declaring the year 2022-2023 as the “International year of millets”. The proposal got support from over 70 countries and the United Nations declared 2023 as the international year of millets.
Millets are a group of varied small-seeded grains belonging to the Paniceae family. They are high in protein, fiber and other nutrients like Iron, manganese, phosphorus etc. Millets are often considered a “Superfood”, because of their impressive nutritional profile.
Millets offer various amazing health benefits. They help in weight loss and reduce the risk of various lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. They have low Glycemic index and help in lowering bad cholesterol levels. Research shows millet-based diet improves the growth of children and helps in tackling child malnutrition and anemia.
Apart from these health benefits, millets are also well-known for their natural resistance to drought and other changing weather conditions. They can grow in less fertile soil and require less water than other typical cereal crops like wheat and rice.
Considering all these incredible benefits millets were a natural choice, as apart from being healthy they can truly make a difference in terms of offering food security to the world.
Impressive facts about Millets in Indian history
- Millets have been labelled as “Nutri- cereals” by the government of India due to their high nutrition quotient (in the year 2018).
- The government of India has declared 2018 as the “National Year of Millets” “to raise awareness about the health benefits of millets and boost millet production.
Significance of declaring 2023 as an “international year of millet”
- Elevate awareness about the contribution of millet to nutrition and food security system.
- Motivate stakeholders and other interested parties to improve sustainable production and quality of millets.
Furthermore, the agricultural ministry of India is focusing on enhanced investments in research and development and extension services to achieve the above mentioned goals.
What steps have been taken by the Indian government to make “IYOM” a success?
The agriculture ministry and the Indian government have undertaken various initiatives to make IYOM a success.
- Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare have launched various events to raise awareness about the health benefits of millets. Recently, the agriculture ministry organized a contest to create a comic story with the theme “India’s wealth, millet for health”. The contest was open from 5 September 2022 to 5 November 2022.
- The millet start-up innovation challenge and mighty millet quiz are some other exciting contests that the Indian government is launching for promoting awareness and consumption of millets.
- The Honorable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi addressed the importance of millets in his monthly radio show “Mann ki baat”. He said that “Millets can grow well in less water. They are immensely popular globally, now with corona, they are gaining importance as an immunity booster”. He emphasized that the food sector should gear up for millet production.
- Indian Institute of millet research (IIMR) is an agriculture research institute that organizes and facilitates millet research at the national level, aimed at improving millet productivity and enhancing profitability.
- For increasing awareness, millets have been showcased in various reputed events like India international trade fair New Delhi, Dubai Expo (FEB. 2022) and Surajkund Mela (March to April 2022).
- IIMR has prepared a positive paper on millet and shared it with stakeholders.
- The ministry has requested all the state chief ministers and Lt. Governors of UT’s to gear up for the celebration of IYOM 2023.
Conclusively, promoting millets can be a turning point for India’s nutritional programs. Millets are not only good for our health, but they are also equally beneficial for farmers and the planet. Boosting millet production and consumption will also help further the sustainable development goals set by the UN as food security and nutrition form a major part of those UNSDG’s. As a business we are already promoting millets as a superfood and have a wide variety of products that are both delicious and healthy. Now that you are aware about the IYOM, How do you plan to celebrate the International Year of Millets?