Making millets food choice is need of hour: PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday emphasized making millets a food choice for the future.
“Millets have a glorious history of being among the earliest crops grown by humans. They have been an important food source in the past. But the need of the hour is to make them a food choice for the future,” he said in a message at the opening ceremony of the International Year of Millets at the headquarters of the Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shobha Karandlaje represented India at the opening ceremony in Rome and read out the Prime Minister’s message to the august gathering.
Modi said millets are among the earliest crops grown by humans and have been an important source of nutrients.
Highlighting the challenges of food security, Modi mentioned the once-in-a-century pandemic and the arising conflicts around the world. He also touched upon how climate change is affecting food availability.
Marking that a global movement related to millets is an important step in the direction of food security, Modi informed that millets are easy to grow, climate resilient and drought resistant.
He further added that millets are a rich source of balanced nutrition, compatible with natural ways of farming and need less water.
The Prime Minister remarked, “Millets are good for the consumer, cultivator and climate.”
Stressing the need for diversity on the land and at the dining table, the Prime Minister informed that health is impacted if agriculture becomes monoculture and pointed out that millets are a good way to increase agricultural and dietary diversity.
While concluding his message, Modi touched upon raising awareness to create ‘Millet Mindfulness’ and highlighted the tremendous role that institutions and individuals can play.
He added that while institutional mechanisms can encourage the production of millets and make it profitable via policy initiatives, individuals can make health-conscious and planet-friendly choices by making millets a part of their diet.
The United Nations General Assembly has declared the year 2023 ‘International Year of Millets’.
It is the Prime Minister’s vision and initiative that led to this United Nations Resolution being adopted with support from more than 70 nations across the globe. It will help in creating awareness throughout the world about the significant role of millets in sustainable agriculture and its benefits as a smart and superfood.
India is poised to become the global hub for millets with a production of more than 170 lakh tonnes which makes for more than 80 percent of the millets produced in Asia.
The earliest evidence for these grains has been found in the Indus civilization and was one of the first plants to be domesticated for food.
It is grown in about 131 countries and is the traditional food for around 60 crore people in Asia and Africa.

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