In an effort to promote cultivation and consumption of millets on a larger scale, the Union government, with the help of various States and Indian embassies around the globe has launched International Year of Millets (IYM) on January 1, 2023. Union Ministries, States and Indian embassies have been allocated a ‘focused month’ each in 2023 to promote millets as part of IYM. In January, Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, and Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Rajasthan governments will conduct events and activities for IYM.
The Sports Ministry has planned 15 activities over 15 days in January which include engaging sportspersons, nutritionists and fitness experts through video messages, conducting webinars on millets with leading nutritionists, dieticians and elite athletes, promotion amplification through Fit India App, etc., the government said in a release. Ministry of Food Processing Industries will organise Millet Fair-cum-exhibitions in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh in this month and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will organise “Eat Right” Melas in Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Rajasthan will conduct food festivals and will train farmers on cultivation of millets. Various awareness campaigns, workshops/ seminars will also be held during the month. “Other States that are organising similar activities in January include Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Punjab,” the Union Agriculture Ministry said in a release.
“Being grown in more than 130 countries at present, millets are considered traditional food for more than half a billion people across Asia and Africa. In India, millets are primarily a kharif crop, requiring less water and agricultural inputs than other similar staples. Millets are important by the virtue of their mammoth potential to generate livelihoods, increase farmers’ income and ensure food and nutritional security all over the world,” the Ministry said.