Millets offer an entirely different value proposition at a time when there are concerns about a worldwide food shortage, according to S. Jaishankar, minister of external affairs, who also noted that they are considerably healthier than the everyday consumption of rice and wheat.
On Sunday, Jaishankar said India can cultivate millets, which offers a solution to the rising food demands around the world. He was speaking to members of the Indian diaspora in the capital city of Austria.
In preparation for the International Year of Millets (IYM), which started on January 1, the government announced on January 1 that it had planned a number of activities to promote millet all over the country.
“The daily cereals, rice, and wheat we consume are much less healthy for all of us than millets.” Prior to its displacement, it was the food that was most common in our societies. “Both the water and carbon footprints are significantly reduced,” Jaishankar remarked.
“In the modern world, where there is concern over food scarcity, millet presents a very different value proposition.” “Currently, one kilo of millets is farmed and consumed in India for virtually every five kg of wheat,” he said.
The Indus Valley civilization consumed millets, one of the first crops to be domesticated in India, according to a number of findings. At the moment, millet is farmed in more than 130 nations, and it is a traditional food for more than 500 million people in Asia and Africa.
“In fact, we can cultivate it.” It can meet a large portion of our rising food demands. Not just us, but also a significant number of nations in Africa, Asia, and portions of the Middle East, “On the second leg of his two-nation tour, Jaishankar, who had just arrived from Cyprus, stated.
Compared to other staples of a similar nature, millets are largely a Kharif crop in India and require less water and agricultural inputs. Millets are important because they have a huge potential to create jobs, increase farmer income, and ensure food and nutritional security around the world.
In addition, millet is a key component of the G-20 meetings, and delegates will get a full millet experience through sampling, interactions with farmers, and interactive sessions with start-ups and FPOs.
“We hope to achieve during our G20 presidency—in fact, we are doing it right now—that every foreign guest I receive in India or the Prime Minister gets in India has a significant portion of the meal that is millet-based,” Jaishankar added.
On December 6, the UN agency Food and Agriculture Organization hosted the IYM inaugural ceremony in Rome, Italy. Within the Parliamentary Complex, the Indian government sponsored a special “Millet Luncheon ” for parliamentarians.
India has given millets top priority because of their huge potential and alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The year 2018 was subsequently proclaimed the National Year of Millets after millets were rebranded as “nutritional cereals” in April.
In order for India to remain at the forefront of the millennium-year celebrations, the UN’s designation of 2023 as IYM was crucial. In addition to presenting India as the “global hub of millets,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also discussed his goal of making IYM 2023 a “people’s movement.”
It is anticipated that between 2021 and 2026, the worldwide millets market will grow at a CAGR of 4.5%.