Agri ministry seeks corporates’ help for branding, export of millet

The Reliance Foundation organised the workshop comprising policy makers, farmer’s representatives and corporates to discuss challenges of food security & diversity in nutrition

Millet export

New Delhi: The Union agriculture ministry has appreciated involvement of private sectors in boosting cultivation of millets and sought their roles in branding and bolstering export prospect for enhancing farmers’ return.

This was stated by joint secretary, Union ministry of agriculture and farmer’s welfare, Shubha Thakur at a conference organised by the Reliance Foundation here on Tuesday to mark the ‘International Millet Year’ celebrations.

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The conference was organised on the topic, ‘Shaping Perspectives on Practice and Policy for Millets in India’ on the policies, problems and measures related to millets. Along with farmers, government officials and market experts participated in the conference. All stakeholders seemed to agree that millet is prepared to face the challenges of food security, agricultural livelihoods and diversity in nutrition.

Policy makers, farmer representatives, researchers and industry representatives stressed the need for greater collaboration. Also discussed were the successes and challenges of enhancing farmer-centric efforts and India’s millet policy.

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Ministry’s joint secretary Thakur said, “It is heartening to see Reliance Foundation working with farmers. If Millet is to be successful then everyone will have to come together. To increase the income of farmers, there is a need to increase branding and export capacity.

Jagannath Kumar, chief executive officer (CEO), Reliance Foundation, said, “This decade has been transformative for the global food system and millets. We are seeing a change in demand for millets and India has led this change. This will ensure better livelihood for medium, small and marginal farmers. It will also help in balancing natural resources through agricultural practices. It is essential to maintain this momentum with shared development goals. At Reliance Foundation, we are deeply committed to diversifying food and agriculture systems with millets.

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On this occasion, a booklet titled ‘Fostering Resilience for Sustainability: Reliance Foundation’s Millet Experience’ was published, which documented the experiences and insights generated from millets in various states. This includes making quality seeds accessible to farmers, providing continuous technical support, empowering women agencies and creating awareness about millets.

For the first time, India celebrated 2018 as the ‘National Millet Year’. Along with this, India had presented the proposal of ‘International Year of Millets’ (IYOM) in the United Nations. At the 75th General Assembly session of the United Nations in March 2021, the year 2023 was declared the International Year of Millets (IYOM) to raise global awareness about the benefits of eating and growing millets.

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