FAO Council approves India's proposal to observe an International Year of Millets in 2023
12 December 2018
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Council, currently underway in Rome, approved India’s proposal to observe an International Year of Millets in 2023, union minister of agriculture and farmers’ welfare Radha Mohan Singh has said.
The FAO Council, at its 160th session, also approved India’s membership to the executive board of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for 2020 and 2021.
Welcoming the FAO move, the Indian food minister said the move will enhance global awareness to bring back these nutri-cereals to the plate, for food and nutrition security and hence increase production for resilience to challenges posed globally by climate change.
Singh also appreciated members’ support for India’s appointment to the executive board of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).
Singh said India’s prowess in agriculture diplomacy has grown under the Modi regime. This international endorsement comes in the backdrop of India celebrating 2018 as the National Year of Millets for promoting cultivation and consumption of these nutri-cereals. This is further supported by increase in minimum support prices (MSP) of millets.
Millets consists of jowar, bajra, ragi and minor millets together termed as nutri-cereals. The government has increased the MSP of Jowar to Rs2,450 per quintal from Rs1,725, that of Bajra to Rs1,950 from Rs1,425 and that of Ragi to Rs2,897 from Rs1,900 per quintal from 2018-19.
State governments can procure jowar, bajra, maize and ragi from farmers at MSP through the Department of Food and Public Distribution.