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Closing Ceremony of International Year of Millets 2023: Emergence of Millets as Global Superfood

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01 April 2024, New Delhi: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held the closing ceremony of the International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023 on March 29, 2024, at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. This high-level hybrid event brought together esteemed dignitaries from around the world, both in-person and virtually, including the presence of Maninder Kaur Dwivedi, Additional Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.

During the ceremony, Maninder Kaur Dwivedi emphasized the significance of India’s thriving millet ecosystem, which includes startups, industries, and farmer-producer organizations (FPOs), in promoting and adopting millets.

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

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

A captivating video showcased the diverse range of activities and events organized worldwide under the International Year of Millets 2023, emphasizing the global impact of this initiative.

The ceremony concluded with the remarks of Ms. Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director-General of FAO, expressing gratitude to all participants for their unwavering commitment and dedication to the success of the International Year of Millets 2023. She emphasized the importance of sustaining momentum in promoting millets beyond the designated year.

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets following a proposal by India, supported by more than 70 countries. Throughout the year-long celebration, significant achievements were made, raising awareness about the nutritional benefits of millets, their suitability for cultivation in adverse climatic conditions, and the creation of sustainable market opportunities for producers and consumers. The closing ceremony served as a platform to assess the accomplishments and lessons learned from IYM 2023 and identify priorities for future investments, aiming to address constraints and strengthen millet value chains.

The event included insightful discussions and presentations highlighting the importance of millets in achieving sustainable development goals, showcasing millets’ emergence as a “Global Superfood.” Notably, at a roundtable discussion on “Research and Development for the Millets Sector,” Dr. C Tara Satyavathi, Director of ICAR-IIMR, shared insights into India’s R&D efforts to develop a robust millets value chain.

Additionally, a special exhibition featuring millet-value-added products from around the world and a live cooking demonstration were organized, further enhancing the celebration of millets’ success.

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