Kathmandu [Nepal], September 5 (ANI): The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu on Tuesday evening organized an event to mark the international year of millets participated by business entrepreneurs, medical experts and officials from the Nepal government.
Delivering the keynote address, the Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Naveen Srivastava highlighted the main reason for India's initiation to move a proposal in the UN Assembly to mark the day.
"The primary reason that India moved the resolution in the United Nations was to consider challenges that the global community is facing in this era- including the challenges of food security, making crops or using crops which are climate resilient, use less water and are able to survive in even harsh conditions that the usual cereals that we continue to use today do not survive and require a large amount of water. Looking at all those factors, millets can provide a solution to meeting the challenges of global climate change or even food security," Ambassador Srivastava said in his address.
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets on March 5, 2021, through a resolution tabled by India along with Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia and Senegal and co-sponsored by more than 70 UN member states, with the aim to raise awareness about the importance of millets for food security, nutrition, and climate resilience.
In an event organized earlier last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also unveiled a stamp and a coin to mark the IYM 2023. He also announced ICAR-IIMR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research -Indian Institute of Millets Research) as the Global Centre of Excellence in Millets Research.
"If we could promote millet and introduce it in our main course meal it would bring on numerous benefits, the experts already have opined that. Understanding the importance of it, the United Nations has moved it forward under the initiation of the Government of India and we are in support of it. Nepal is in support of it," Beduram Bhusal, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development under the Government of Nepal said addressing the event.
Also known as power grains, the millet refers to several varieties of small-seeded grasses that are cultivated as grain crops. Amongst these, pearl millet (bajra), finger millet (ragi) and sorghum (jowar) are the most popular.
Pearl millet accounts for close to half the global millet output. Minor millets include foxtail, barnyard, proso and others. These crops are grown in marginal and dry lands in several countries in Asia and Africa, with India being the world's largest millet producer. (ANI)