India will steer celebration of International Millet Year 2023, says Prime Minister Modi

India will steer the celebration of International Millet Year 2023 and organise campaigns to promote the cultivation and consumption of nutri-cereals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. The Prime Minister's message was conveyed at the opening ceremony for the International Year of Millets (IYM) - 2023 organised by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Rome, Italy, according to an official statement.

An Indian delegation led by Shobha Karandlaje, Minister of State for Agriculture, was present at the opening ceremony.

During the event, India's ceremonial message by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conveyed by Shobha Karandlaje.
According to the statement, Modi said: "India will steer the IYM 2023 celebrations worldwide and organise campaigns to promote the cultivation and consumption of millets."

Karandlaje conveyed the prime minister's compliments to the UN for declaring the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets.

PM, through his message, thanked the global community for supporting India's proposal to mark the International Year of Millets.

"It was mentioned that millets are good or the consumer, cultivator and climate. Millets are nutritious and can be cultivated in semi-arid zones besides consuming less water for irrigation," the statement said.

Karandlaje, in her speech, said nations need to collaborate to develop a sustainable future, and millets will play a pivotal role in the process.

She said the IYM2023 will lead India towards food and nutritional security.
Millets are considered 'Smart Food' as they are easy to cultivate, mostly organic and contains high nutritional value, she said.

The IYM 2023 celebration is an opportunity for India to promote nutri-cereal millets globally and place them in the world's 'food map', she added.

Speaking on the occasion, Director General, FAO, Qu Dongyu said the IYM 2023 will provide us with a unique opportunity to give visibility to crops that have great potential to strengthen global nutrition, food security, decent jobs and economies, while accelerating climate action.

In his message on the occasion, the Union Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar said the IYM 2023 will provide an opportunity to increase global production, efficient processing and better use of crop rotation and promotion of millets as a major component of the food basket.

Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary attended the virtual opening ceremony event.

To mark the significance of the day in India, several initiatives have been taken by the Department of Agriculture. These include an extensive social media campaign on the importance of millets in Indian context, showcasing the government's collective effort for sustaining the momentum, citizen engagement drives involving all other ministries and several other outreach activities to celebrate IYM.

Spearheaded by the prime minister, the government of India sponsored the proposal for International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023 which was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The declaration has been instrumental for the government of India to be at the forefront in celebrating the IYM.

Modi has also shared his vision to make IYM 2023 a 'People's Movement' alongside positioning India as the 'Global Hub for Millets', the statement said.