Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh has said that the 160th session of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Council, currently underway in Rome, approved India’s proposal to observe an International Year of Millets in 2023. On behalf of all countrymen the minister conveyed his gratitude to the countries who voiced their support.
He added that this will enhance global awareness to bring back these nutri-cereals to the plate, for food and nutrition security and hence increase production for resilience to challenges posed globally by climate change.
The Minister said that in the Modi regime, India’s prowess in agriculture diplomacy has grown. This international endorsement comes in the backdrop of India celebrating 2018 as the National Year of Millets for promoting cultivation and consumption of these nutri-cereals. This is further supported by increase in Minimum Support Prices (MSP) of millets.
Millets consists of Jowar, Bajra, Ragi and minor millets together termed as nutri-cereals. The MSP of Jowar has been increased to Rs 2450 per quintal from Rs 1725, Bajra to Rs 1950 from Rs 1425 and Ragi to Rs 2897 from Rs 1900 per quintal from 2018-19. Through the Department of Food and Public Distribution, State Governments can procure jowar, bajra, maize and ragi from farmers at MSP.
In addition, the FAO Council also approved India’s membership to the Executive Board of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) for 2020 and 2021 for which the Minister expressed his deepest gratitude to other member countries for their support.