Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the official coin and postal stamp for the International Year of Millets 2023 during the Global Millets Conference in New Delhi on Saturday.
He expressed his pride that India is leading the International Year of Millets and that events like the conference are a symbol of India’s increasing responsibility for global good. The conference was attended by stakeholders from over 100 countries, and many attendees participated virtually.
“I am proud that India is leading the “International Year of Millets”. Events such as the Global Millets Conference are not only important for the benefit of the world as a whole but also reflect India’s growing commitment to global welfare,” said PM Modi.
He expressed pride in the fact that the United Nations (UN) has designated 2023 as the ‘International Year of Millets’ following India’s proposal and efforts.
PM Modi also noted that the virtual presence of over 7.5 million Indian farmers at the ceremony highlights the significance of this declaration.
Additionally, he presented a customized postal stamp and a 75 rupee currency coin to commemorate IYMI-2023.
The goal of the conference is to elevate awareness of nutri-cereals for food security and nutrition and inspire stakeholders to improve the production, productivity, and quality of millets. Through year-long campaigning and several activities nationally and globally, India aimed to make IYM 2023 a people’s movement for the benefit of cultivators, consumers, and the climate.
The conference also includes an exhibition-cum-buyer-seller meet with a focus on millets, showcasing more than 100 stalls of millet-based products by startups, exporters, and live cooking sessions by international and national chefs.
India is at the forefront of promoting the consumption of millet, which is highly nutritious and beneficial for food security and the welfare of farmers, according to the government.
Millets were traditionally consumed in India but were overshadowed by commercial crops due to the Green Revolution in the 1960s. However, the government has recently recognized the importance of millet and made efforts to popularize them.
In March 2021, the UN General Assembly declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, which was proposed by India and supported by 72 countries.
Millets are small-seeded grasses, including Bajra, Jowar, Ragi, and others, which are nutritionally superior to wheat and rice, climate-resilient, and ecologically sustainable. They are also rich in nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, dietary fibre, minerals, and vitamins, making them a healthier option than cereal grains.
They offer multiple untapped uses, such as food, feed, fodder, biofuels, and brewing, and are therefore considered smart food that is good for consumers, farmers, and the planet.