India has requested the United Nations to declare 2018 as the International Year of Millets. This has formally been sent by the Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Mr Radha Mohan Singh to the UN Secretary General. Other countries and prominent individuals are now rallying behind the cause.
“….While they [millets] offer nutrition , resilience and income to farmers in developing countries, for the developed nations millets can help tackle health challenges such as obesity, diabetes and lifestyle problems as they are gluten free, have a low glycemic index and are high in dietary fibre and antioxidants.
However, awareness about millets is low among consumers, policy makers, industry and R&D sector. Majority of the R&D investment, policy support and development aid goes for the big 3 cereals – rice, wheat and maize. Promotion of production and consumption of millets through conscious efforts at global level is likely to contribute substantially in the fight against targeted hunger and mitigate the effect of climate change in long run.
Millets offer nutrition, resilience and income to farmers in developing countries. By providing income and livelihood for farmers even in difficult times millets can help stem migration. On World Food Day 2017, FAO issued a call to change the future of migration by investing in agriculture and food security, especially in the drylands, so that rural families can make a decent living from their farm for themselves and the next generation. We believe millets are part of the answer. The yield of millets can be increased 3 times and they have multiple untapped uses such as food, feed, fodder, biofuels and brewing. Therefore, millets are Smart Food as they are Good for You, Good for the Farmer and Good for the Planet.
Considering the importance of millets for the farmer, the consumer and the environment, the Government of India along with other country governments urges the United Nations to declare 2018 as the “International Year of Millets”. This will go a long way in popularizing millets which would benefit future generations of farmers as well as consumers.”
See the case for why millets are a critical part of the solution in achieving the SDGs:
The need to focus more on millets has been hailed by the father of the Green Revolution in India, Professor MS Swaminathan and Prime Minister Modi of India.
See more at www.icrisat.org/YearofMillet