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India opens international year of millet, key to food crisis

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India opened this Thursday the international year of millet, which will be held throughout 2023 at the proposal of this Asian country, which sees in this cereal a key to boost relations between countries and alleviate the food crisis.

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The General Assembly of the UN approved last year the proposal of the Indiabacked by 72 other countries, to designate 2023 the international year of millet, a family of several cereal species grown for their small edible seeds.

According to Indiathe ease and adaptability offered by the cultivation of darling make it the ideal food to combat food insecurity that recently triggered three global challenges: the covid pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine and climate change, and that deteriorate international relations.

“There are three major challenges that we are experiencing, the covid, a conflict and climate change, and each of them has affected food security in its own way,” Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said today during an event organized in New Delhi on the occasion of this celebration.

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For jaishankarthe increase in the production of this cereal in the world would not only improve the lives of farmers, but would also contribute to a decentralization of production, greater self-sufficiency and a greater willingness of countries to support each other, creating a truly global association .

And it is that the minister wants to learn from what happened after the outbreak of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, when the conflict devastated one of the main wheat exporters in the world, triggering a global rise in prices.

In this sense, the Indian Minister of Agriculture, Narendra Singh, insisted that next year’s promotion of millet will help raise awareness about its contribution to food security and nutrition, while encouraging its production, accessible for all farmers.

“Millet is a climate-friendly crop, it can be grown with little water consumption and low carbon emissions”Singh stated.

The India It was the largest producer of millet in the world in 2021 with almost 18 million tons, almost 20% of global production, followed by other African countries such as Niger, Sudan or Nigeria, the minister reported.

Five years earlier, the production of this cereal in India was 13.7 million tons, but the declaration of 2018 as the national year of millet in the Asian country favored its cultivation and its integration into the habitual diet of citizens.

Currently, half a thousand Indian start-ups are engaged in cultivation and research around millet, which accounts for 5% of the basic food basket of families in India, Singh said.

Source: EFE

Source: Gestion

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