Millets may be used to address issues with food security, says Narendra Modi

Millets may be used to address issues with food security, says Narendra Modi

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said millets may assist in addressing issues with both food security and eating habits, and he urged agriculture scientists to strive towards raising the proportion of nutri-cereals in the country's staple diet.

Speaking to the crowd after launching the "Global Millets (Shri Anna) Conference," he said it is a matter of great honour for the nation that the United Nations designated 2023 as "International Year of Millets" as a result of India's request and efforts.

According to Modi, India is always attempting to spread the idea of Shri Anna, or millets, as a worldwide movement.

The prime minister highlighted the ease with which millets may be cultivated in challenging climatic circumstances, without chemicals or fertilisers, and said that India's millets mission would help 2.5 crore small and marginal farmers across the nation.

"Now, millets make up just 5–6% of the country's total food supply. I urge scientists and agricultural specialists in India to move quickly to enhance the proportion. We must establish realistic goals for it "Said Modi.

He reminded businesses that the government has begun a production-linked incentive (PLI) programme for the food-processing industry and urged them to use it to boost millet-based product manufacturing.

India was the primary proponent of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution designating 2023 as the International Year of Millets because it recognised the significance of millets or nutri-cereals, helped to create a domestic and international demand for them, and helped to feed the world's population with nutrient-rich food.

72 nations agreed with India's request, and in March 2021, the UNGA proclaimed 2023 the International Year of Millets.

Sorghum (Jowar), Pearl Millet (Bajra), Finger Millet (Ragi), Tiny Millet (Kutki), Foxtail Millet (Kakun), Proso Millet (Cheena), Barnyard Millet (Sawa), Kodo Millet (Kodon), and other small-seeded grasses are all classified as millets and are sometimes called nutri-cereals or dryland cereals.

India produces more than 170,000 tonnes of millet annually, accounting for 80% of Asia's total output and 20% of world production. The yield of millet in India is higher than the world average, which is 1,229 kg/ha.

For International Year of Millets (IYMI)-2023, the prime minister also introduced a unique postal stamp and a rupee coin valued at Rs 75.