India committed to realise goals of global millets campaign: PM

Narendra Modi was inaugurating the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference at IARI Campus.

India committed to realise goals of global millets campaign: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: @PBNS_India)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said growth in cultivation and consumption of millets can bring prosperity to small farmers, nutrition for crores of people, and help the world face challenges of climate change.

Narendra Modi was inaugurating the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference at IARI Campus here. The two-day global conference is discussing issues related to millets like promotion and awareness of millets among producers, consumers and other stakeholders and the millets’ value chain development.

The prime minister said millets had the capacity to help global South meet problems of food security and the global North solve issues of health due to food habits. A unique quality of these grains was their being climate resilient. The millets can be grown in adverse climate conditions, require little irrigation and no support of chemicals, he said.


He said 2023 has been declared the International Year of Millets (IYM) by the United Nations after India’s proposal. The Year reflected the G20 theme of One Earth, One Family, One Future under India’s presidency, and the Global Millets conference was proof that India was committed to realise the goals of the international millets campaign.

Modi told foreign Agriculture Ministers and experts attending the conference that India was ready to share its practices associated with cultivation of the millets and wanted to learn what the world had to offer new in the field. The foreign Agriculture Ministers should help set up a stable mechanism for a supply chain for millets from field to market, and from one country to another, he said.

In the interest of a common and global branding, he said, India had given the identity of Shree Anna to the coarse grains. Shree symbolised prosperity and Shree Anna was becoming the source of a holistic development in the country that covers rural areas and the poor, as well, Mr Modi said.

The prime minister said India had taken steps to turn Shree Anna into a global movement. Millets were declared nutri-cereals in 2018, farmers were made aware of their benefits and market was suitably prepared for them. Millets were primarily cultivated in 12-13 different states in the country where the consumption per month per person was not more than three kilograms. It has increased to 14 kilograms per month today.

He said the sale of the millet food products has also seen a boost of roughly 30 per cent. Millet cafes have been set up and there are social media channels dedicated to recipes on millets. “Millets have also been selected in 19 districts of the country under the ‘One District, One Product’ scheme,” he said.

Many countries would be surprised to know that 2.50 crore small and marginal farmers are associated with the cultivation of millets in India, he said. They had small lands and often suffered the vagaries of climate. The Millets Mission was going to prove a boon for these people, he said. For the first time since Independence, these farmers were taken note of, and their incomes would rise and their produce used in food processing industries.

The prime minister said India had always shown concern for its duty towards the world and to serve humanity. This was reflected in all campaigns that India tried to convey to the world. Giving the example of Yoga, he said that India ensured that the benefits of Yoga reach the whole world through International Yoga Day. Today yoga is being promoted in more than 100 countries of the world and more than 30 countries in the world have given recognition to Ayurveda as well.

On the International Solar Alliance, Mr Modi said, it is working as an effective platform for building a sustainable planet where more than 100 countries have joined the movement. “Be it leading the LiFE mission or achieving climate change goals ahead of schedule, India draws inspiration from its heritage, drives change in society, and brings it to the fore of global well-being,” the Prime Minister said.

A similar impact can be witnessed in India’s “Millets Movement,” he said. He said Shree Anna varieties such as Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Sama, Kangni, Cheena, Kodon, Kutki, and Kuttu grown in different regions of India were a part of lifestyle in India for centuries.

 “Millets bring with them endless possibilities,” the prime minister remarked. He said the contribution of Shree Anna to the national food basket in India was only 5-6 per cent. Scientists and experts in the agriculture sector should work towards increasing this and suggested setting achievable targets for every year. He said some States have included Shree Anna in their PDS system and others can follow suit.

Before inaugurating the conference, the prime minister also inaugurated and visited the Exhibition cum Buyer-Seller Meet Pavilion. He unveiled a Commemorative Stamp and Commemorative Coin also. This was followed by the prime minister digitally launching a compendium of Indian Millet (Shri Anna) start-ups and a book of millet (Shri Anna) standards.

International leaders including President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde and President of Guyana Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali conveyed their messages on the occasion.