FAO holds opening ceremony of International Year of Millets 2023 in Rome

UN dedicates 2023 to greater efforts in producing millets given their nutritional properties and resilience in adapting to climate change

As the global agrifood systems face challenges to feed an ever-growing global population, resilient cereals like millets provide an affordable and nutritious option, and efforts need to be scaled-up to promote their cultivation.

 This was the message at the opening ceremony of the International Year of Millets 2023 (IYM) at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) on 6th December, 2022.

“Millets are incredible ancestral crops with high nutritional value. Millets can play an important role and contribute to our collective efforts to empower smallholder farmers, achieve sustainable development, eliminate hunger, adapt to climate change, promote biodiversity, and transform agrifood systems,” FAO Director-General QU Dongyu told participants at the hybrid event.

Further, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) moderated the technical segment of the opening ceremony. Minister of State for Agriculture, Shobha Karandlaje, delivered a message from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India presented the proposal for the International Year and is the chair of the Year’s Steering Committee.

IYM 2023 hopes to galvanise interest in millets among various stakeholders like farmers, the youth and civil society and push governments and policy makers to prioritise the production and trade in these cereals.

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