NITI Aayog & WFP launched Initiative to promote millets in Asia & Africa

Tags: National News

On July 19, 2022, NITI Aayog and the World Food Program (WFP), India launched an initiative 'Mapping and Exchange of Good Practices' to mainstream millet in Asia and Africa.

Important facts

  • NITI Aayog and WFP will prepare a set of good practices for increasing the production and consumption of millets in India and abroad.

  • The Government of India has proposed to the United Nations to declare the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYoM).

  • It aims to generate domestic and global demand for millets.

International Year of Millets

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted India's resolution and declared 2023 as the International Year of millets in March 2021.

  • India's proposal received the support of 72 countries.

  • In 2021, NITI Aayog signed a letter of intent with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).

  • The partnership focuses on mainstreaming millets and helping India take a global lead in promoting its health benefits.

  • The objective of this partnership is to build resilient livelihoods for smallholder farmers and to build adaptability to climate change and changing food systems.

Why is millet called a superfood?

  • India is the 5th largest exporter of Millets globally.

  • Millets are one of the oldest food items in the country.

  • Known as a superfood, Millets can address issues related to nutritional security, food system security and farmers' welfare.

  • These are a rich source of protein, fibre, minerals, iron, calcium and have a low glycemic index.

  • They are known for their nutrient rich content and certain characteristics like drought tolerance, photo-insensitivity, resilience to climate change etc.

  • They can be cultivated with less water and less cost.

  • It can also grow well in dry areas or on land with low fertility.

What are Millets? 

  • They include jowar (sorghum), ragi (finger millet), korra (foxtail millet), arke (kodo millet), sama (little millet), bajra (pearl millet), chena/barr (proso millet) and sanwa (barnyard millet).

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