On Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the significance of India’s Millet Mission, which he said would benefit 2.5 crore marginal farmers. He noted that this was the first time since independence that a government had paid attention to the needs of millet-producing farmers. Modi made the remarks during the inauguration of the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference in Pusa, New Delhi.
Modi stated that in India, millets are primarily grown in 12-13 states, but the domestic consumption per person in these states was not more than 2-3 kgs per month. However, today, the consumption has increased to 14 kg per month. He said events such as the Global Millets (Shri Anna) Conference are not only important for the global good but also symbolize India’s growing responsibility for the same.
Modi also noted that India is leading the International Millet Year campaign, which is being celebrated globally. He added that India had proposed and worked towards declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets, which was accepted by the United Nations. He emphasized the importance of this achievement and added that over 75 lakh farmers in India are virtually present at the conference, underscoring its significance.
During the Global Millets Conference, Modi released a postal stamp and unveiled the official coin of the International Year of Millets 2023. The President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde, who attended the event virtually, emphasized the importance of millets for sustainability, eliminating hunger, adapting to climate change, and transforming agrifoods.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who was present at the inauguration, said that the declaration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets had increased the domestic and global demand for ‘Shree Anna.’ Overall, the conference provided a platform to discuss the benefits of millets and their contribution to sustainable development.