The UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution sponsored by India and supported by over 70 nations declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets, aimed at raising awareness about the health benefits of the grain and their suitability for cultivation under changing climatic conditions. The resolution titled ‘International Year of Millets 2023’ was initiated by India with Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia and Senegal and was co-sponsored by over 70 nations.
Millet, a grain mainly grown and consumed in developing countries until recently and once considered a poor man’s staple, is quickly becoming a favorite globally among those affected by climate change because of its ability to thrive in harsh and arid environments. Its drought-resistant quality makes it attractive as many parts of the world begin to experience a water supply shortage. While millet cultivation has been historically widespread, their production is declining in many countries. There is an urgent need to promote the nutritional and ecological benefit of millets to consumers, producers, and decision-makers, to improve production efficiencies, research, and development investments and food sector linkages, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said on Wednesday.
Tirumurti underlined that the primary objective of the resolution is to raise awareness and direct policy action to the nutritional and health benefits of millets consumption and their suitability for cultivation under adverse and changing climatic conditions. The adoption of resolution will also draw focus for enhanced investments in research and development and extension services related to millets.