International Year of Millets 2023 concludes at FAO headquarters

A special exhibition featuring a showcase of millet-value-added products from across the world and live cooking was also organised

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) organised the closing ceremony of the International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023 on 29 March 2024 at the FAO headquarters, in Rome, Italy. The high-level hybrid event allowed participants to join both in-person and virtually and was graced by esteemed dignitaries from various parts of the world, including Additional Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Maninder Kaur Dwivedi from Govt. of India.

Maninder Kaur Dwivedi,  from Govt. of India, underscored the significance of India’s thriving Millet ecosystem comprising various Start-Ups, Industries, and FPOs, in increasing the promotion and adoption of millets.

Director-General, FAO, Dr QU Dongyu in his opening remarks at the official closing ceremony, commended the international community for their commitment to advancing millet-related initiatives and emphasized the crucial role of millets in achieving food security and nutrition for all.

Minister and Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to FAO Yaya Adisa Olaitan Olaniran shed light on the significance of millet and outlined strategies for integrating millet cultivation into sustainable agricultural practices in Nigeria.

Further in the ceremony, attendees were treated to a captivating video showcasing the diverse range of activities and events organized under the International Year of Millets 2023 across different regions, fostering the global reach and impact of the initiative.

The ceremony came to a close with the concluding remarks of Deputy Director-General FAO Beth Bechdol expressing gratitude to all participants for their unwavering commitment and dedication to the success of the International Year of Millets 2023 and highlighting the importance of sustaining momentum in promoting millets beyond the designated year.

Following a proposal by India, backed by more than 70 countries, the United Nations General Assembly, at its 75th session in March 2021, declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. The year-long celebration successfully raised awareness about the nutritional and health benefits of millet consumption, the suitability of millets for cultivation under adverse and changing climatic conditions, and the benefits of creating sustainable market opportunities for producers and consumers. The closing ceremony served as a forum to take stock of the accomplishments of, and lessons learned from IYM 2023 and identify priorities for future investments, particularly to address identified constraints and strengthen millets value chains.

A special exhibition featuring a showcase of millet-value-added products from across the world and live cooking was also organised.

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