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Why is India celebrating 2023 as the ‘International Year of Millets’

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31 March 2023, New Delhi: The Government of India sponsored the proposal for International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023 which was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last year.

The declaration has been instrumental for the Government of India to be at the forefront of celebrating the International Year of Millets. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the International Year of Millets 2023 to be a ‘People’s Movement’ alongside positioning India as the ‘Global Hub for Millets’.

International Year of Millets 2023 is being celebrated across the globe to promote the use of millets, which are a valuable source of nutrition and have the potential to help combat hunger and malnutrition. Millets are a group of small-seeded cereals, including pearl millet, finger millet, foxtail millet, sorghum, and proso millet. They are highly nutritious, gluten-free grains that are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. 

Millets are native to India and are an important part of India’s farming culture. They are drought-resistant and can grow in different soil types, making them a valuable crop for farmers in arid and semi-arid areas. They also require fewer inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides, making them more sustainable. 

The International Year of Millets 2023 aims to raise awareness about the importance of millets and their health benefits. It also seeks to promote the production, consumption, and value-addition of millet products. The theme of the International Year of Millets is “Healthy Millets, Healthy People.” 

Millets are an important source of nutrition and offer a range of health benefits. They are high in fiber, which helps promote digestion and lowers cholesterol. They are also rich in minerals, such as iron, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus, as well as vitamins B, E, and K. They are gluten-free and can help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. 

The International Year of Millets 2023 is an opportunity for India to highlight the importance of millets and their health benefits. By increasing the consumption of millet, it is possible to improve nutrition and help to reduce poverty and hunger in India. It is also an opportunity to encourage farmers to take up millet cultivation to increase their incomes and improve their livelihoods.

Also Read: G20 India: 2nd ADM of the Agriculture Working Group held in Chandigarh

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