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Ambassador’s Remarks at the Celebrations of International Year of Millets, 20 July 2023

Posted on: July 20, 2023 | Back | Print

Ambassador’s Remarks at the Celebrations of
International Year of Millets,  20 July 2023

Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, H.E. Mr. Harifidy Ramilison, 

Minister of Public Health  Prof. Zely Arivelo,

Deputy Representative of UN FAO,

Mrs. Häusler, Spouse of the Ambassador of Germany

Director General of National Centre of Research on Rural Development of Madagascar,  

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Namaste and Good Morning! It is my great honor and pleasure to welcome you all to today’s celebrations of the International Year of Millets.

Millets  have long been a staple food for millions of people across the world, especially in Asia and Africa. India is the  world’s largest producer and the second largest exporter of millets. You might be aware that the people of Indus Valley Civilization used to cultivate millets more than 5000 years ago and the ancient Indian text “Yajur Veda” contains references to various millets. 

Millets are "Nutri-Cereals" which are rich in protein, fibers and micro-nutrients. They are gluten-free and have a low glycemic index.  Millets are resistant to pests and crop diseases and can grow in a wide range of climatic and soil conditions. 

In line with the ancient Indian philosophy “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” which sees the whole world as one family and also Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of LIFE (Life Style for Environment), India spearheaded the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly resolution which declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. This resolution aims to enhance awareness about millets and their contribution to food and nutritional security, livelihoods of farmers and poverty eradication.

Millets are increasingly becoming relevant in the context of negative effects of Climate Change, Conflict in Ukraine and Covid-19. As a responsible member of the Global South, India is leading the global campaign to promote millets. We have organized the Global Millets  Conference in New Delhi in March this year and Indian Embassies across the world have undertaken various events to mark the International Year of Millets. The Indian Institute of Millets Research has been established as a “Global Centre of Excellence” to engage in basic and strategic research on millets and  also to support more than 500 Indian Start-ups involved in millets trade.

In conclusion, I would like to assure that as a close neighbour and a fellow developing country in the Indian Ocean region, India stands ready to share its developmental experience and expertise as per the needs and requirements of Madagascar. India also looks forward to work closely with other partners to develop the capacity for millet cultivation across Madagascar, especially the drought-prone regions of Southern Madagascar. 

Thank you!