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India asks UN to declare 2018 as International year of millets

India has asked the United Nations to declare 2018 as the ‘International Year of Millets’ and promote it as nutritionrich smart food across the world. A letter in this regard has been written to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.

In the letter, Singh said there is a need to promote millets as the “awareness is low” among consumers, policy makers, industry and R&D sector. Sorghum, Bajra and Ragi are some popular millets in India. ”Promotion of production and consumption of millets through conscious efforts at global level is likely to contribute substantially in the fight against the targeted hunger and mitigate the effects of climate change in the long run,” he said.

The yield of millets can be increased three times and they have multiple untapped uses such as food, feed, biofuels and brewing. Therefore, millets are smart food and good for consumers, farmers and the planet, he added ..“Considering the importance of millets …the Government of India along with other country governments urges the UN to declare 2018 as the ‘International Year of Millets’,” Singh said. This will go a long way in popularising millets which would benefit future generation of farmers as well as consumers, he added.

Read more at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

Karnataka announces 3-day Organics and Millets global fair

Karnataka on Monday announced a three-day international trade fair on organics and millets that will be held in January at Bengaluru, as part of the government’s continued push for organic food production and consumption.

“While other states are also growing organic foods, Karnataka is the only one taking up the task of creating a market for these products. Our intention is to take organic and millet foods to the international market,” Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said at a curtain-raiser event here. Karnataka has been aggressively promoting organic foods for the last couple of years, the minister said. “Ragi, white corn (bili jola) and pearl millet (sajje) are being cultivated on 18 lakh hectares in the state. This will go up by 10-15% this year. Also, the area under cultivation of minor millets such as saame, baragu, navane and udalu has doubled from 20,000 to 40,000 hectares. All this is because of the government encouraging organic foods,” Gowda said.

The international trade fair will be held between January 19 and 21 at Bengaluru. The Minister also launched the official website for the Organics and Millets 2018 international trade fair – organics-millets.in

Read more at http://www.deccanherald.com/content/641328/karnataka-announces-3-day-organics.html

Centre working to include millets in school feeding programmes & public distribution system

With a view to ensure that millets become a part of average Indian’s diet, the Union government is trying to include it in school feeding programs, Union Agriculture Secretary SK Patnaik said at an ASSOCHAM-Karnataka Government joint event held in New Delhi.

“The government is thinking to coin a new term called ‘nutricereals’ for millets, perhaps that will have a much better meaning and carry the message to every citizen of this country,” he added.

According to the agriculture department, it is trying to resolve various issues related to millets as the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) is working on producing high yielding varieties and enhancing the shelf-life. Besides, the government is also planning to give specific assistance to those willing to grow millets under the National Food Security Mission of the department of agriculture.
Read more at https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/centre-working-to-include-millets-in-school-feedingprograms-public-distribution-system/articleshow/61822595.cms