Agriculture ministry organises 2-day Asean-India Millet Festival

15 Dec 2023

Agriculture ministry organises 2-day Asean-India Millet Festival

India on Thursday opened an Asean-India Millet Festival, a two-day event aimed at increasing awareness and establishing a larger market for millet and millet-based products.

Millets that are grown in most parts of Asia and Africa offers innumerable benefits for farmers and consumers and will be a boon at a time when agriculture is facing the vagaries of climate change.

Millet has the power to revolutionise our approach to agriculture, climate and food security, union minister of agriculture and farmers’ welfare and tribal affairs Arjun Munda said while inaugurating the Asean-India Millet Festival in New Delhi on Thursday.

The festival, which is in line with the International Year of Millets, brings together delegates from India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Addressing the delegates, Arjun Munda highlighted the government policies and market innovations to promote the production and consumption of grains. He said millet provides innumerable benefits to farmers, consumers and the environment and makes an important contribution to global food-nutrition security.

Highlighting the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government of India’s efforts to transform agriculture and nutrition by organising mega event of International Millets Year 2023, the minister said Modi's deep understanding of sustainable agriculture and nutrition security has been the driving force behind India's proactive progress in placing food at the forefront of the global agenda. 

During the Global Millets Conference in March 2023, Prime Minister Modi had made a promise to convert the Indian Millets Research Institute into a Global Center of Excellence for Millets, in order to promote millet cultivation and global research cooperation and innovation, he pointed out. 

IIMR has played an important role in setting up 25 seed hubs, 18 centers in various institutions and has developed more than 200 improved varieties of grains in collaboration with other agricultural institutions. This has ensured surplus availability of high quality cereal seeds, with the aim of increasing the annual seed replacement ratio to 10 per cent, he said.

Celebration of the International Year of Millets has led to  investment in extension services along with research and development, which motivates stakeholders to increase the productivity, quality and associated production methods. Millet is a traditional grain. It is small, short-duration crop with the ability to grow in diverse environments and has the power to revolutionise the approach to agriculture, climate and food security, he said.

Millet has the ability to provide maximum nutritional benefits of promoting sustainable agricultural practices, and ensuring a healthier, more secure future for future generations, he added.

Policy makers, entrepreneurs, expert startups and officials from Asean countries are participating in the two-day festival organised by the Indian Mission in Asean in collaboration with the ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare.

The festival will conclude on 15 December 2023. The event follows a similar festival held in Jakarta, Indonesia from 22 to 26 November 2023. 

The festival aims to facilitate participants in exploring synergies and commercial opportunities across geographic boundaries, which will be crucial for numerous startups and farmer-led organisations.


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