International Year of Millets

• Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare proposes to United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization to declare an upcoming year as “International Year of Millets”

• The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh has written to the Director-General, United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) and proposed the declaration of an upcoming year as “International Year of Millets”.

• In a letter to Mr. Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General, United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization, Shri Singh said that to garner wider global attention and action, India has mooted a proposal for declaration of an upcoming year as International Year of Millets.

• The Union Agriculture Minister stated that India is celebrating 2018 as the National Year of Millets and is promoting cultivation by amending cropping pattern of areas which are especially susceptible to climate change.

• Millets are highly nutritious and useful in various lifestyle diseases, enhancing resilience and risk management in face of climate change especially for small and marginal farmers.

• The government recently increased the MSP of millets by more than 50 per cent of the cost of production which is an important component of efforts to achieve the national commitment of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

• This letter follows his earlier communication to the Secretary-General of the UN in November 2017 in this regard. The Minister has requested the inclusion of this proposal in the agenda of the 26th session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) meeting, scheduled during October 1-5, 2018 in Rome.

• Adoption of this proposal by FAO with the support of its Member Nations will enable it to be moved to the UNGA for the declaration of an upcoming year as International Year of Millets. He said that the matter has received the support of the member countries when placed in the Bureau meeting of the committee on agriculture held on July 5, 2018.

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