NABARD commits to establishing a robust millet-value chain, to counter agri-commodity inflation and alleviate global hunger issues
Hyderabad, 16 September 2023: In a show of commitment towards promoting millets as an essential cereal, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), organized the highly-anticipated ‘Millet Conclave 2023’. The event was organized in Hyderabad. ‘The conclave brought together a diverse range of experts, stakeholders, and thought leaders to delve into various aspects of millets, ranging from cultivation and yield to exports, marketing, health, and nutrition. The key objective of the conclave was to collectively brainstorm solutions to enhance the existing millet–value chain.
The event was inaugurated by Shri Shaji K V, Chairman of NABARD with an insightful inaugural address wherein he emphasized millets’ vital role in sustainable agriculture along with food security and nutritional security. He stated, “With India accounting for a significant 41% of global millet production, the path ahead is indeed promising. The Millet Value Chain Development project, a convergence between NABARD schemes and GOI initiatives, has delivered remarkable results. Our focus remains on transitioning people from pure agriculture to agri-processing activities, reducing rural-urban income disparities, and bolstering the cooperative movement. Our partnership with the Government of India to modernize the primary agricultural societies is set to transform these entities into versatile and multipurpose institutions.”
India is the top producer of millets in the world and has many types of nutri-cereals. The Indian government has realised the key role that millets are likely to play in the future and has impressed upon the United Nations to announce 2023 as the Year of Millets. It presents a golden opportunity for India to elevate millets to the core of India’s agricultural transformation. India is at the forefront of popularising millets (Shree Anna) for furthering nutrition, food security, and welfare goals. To make India a global hub for ‘Shree Anna’, the Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad will be supported as the center of excellence for sharing best practices, research, and technologies at an international level.
“Our mission is to instill ‘millet mindfulness,’ globally, guaranteeing income security for our farmers, nutritional security for consumers, and fostering viable enterprises for millet entrepreneurs. We aim to build a robust millet ecosystem that seamlessly aligns with India’s global commitments towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.” Shri Shaji K V added.
The Millet Conclave 2023 witnessed thought-provoking panel discussions and knowledge-sharing sessions. Renowned experts provided fresh insights into key challenges faced by millet cultivators and consumers alike, offering practical solutions and best practices to support the industry’s growth. The conclave included panel discussions on topics touching upon all the aspects of the millet value chain.
As millets gain traction worldwide as a healthy and sustainable alternative to conventional grains, the Millet Conclave 2023 laid a strong foundation for collaborations and innovations in the millet sector. NABARD recapitulated to take forward the discussions and recommendations from the conclave to foster a robust ecosystem for millet cultivation, processing, and consumption.