During the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his confidence that the market and associated ecosystem of Shree Anna will strengthen the rural economy and benefit the country’s 2.5 crore marginal farmers. He highlighted the climate-resilient quality of millet and its potential to combat water crisis issues.
Mr Modi emphasized the importance of developing a stable mechanism for sharing agricultural practices of millet cultivation among friendly countries to create an effective supply chain from field to market. He urged scientists and stakeholders to contribute to increasing the current five to six per cent contribution of millet to the national food basket.
The Prime Minister described millet cultivation as a guaranteed solution to the good health of soil and humans, capable of addressing challenges such as climate change, food security and lifestyle-generated diseases. He emphasized that Shree Anna is not limited to food or agriculture but is also an important medium for the country’s prosperity.
Mr Modi also revealed that the government has implemented several initiatives to ensure that marginal farmers could thrive with millet cultivation. The conference features the participation of agriculture ministers from foreign countries, scientists and other stakeholders who will discuss the promotion and awareness of millets among producers, consumers and other stakeholders, millets’ value chain development, health and nutritional aspects of millets and market linkages. In honor of the International Year of Millets, the Prime Minister unveiled a customised postal stamp and currency coin.
One idea that can be borrowed is the emphasis on promoting the cultivation of millets as a solution to food security and climate change. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, highlighted the benefits of millet cultivation and the need for a stable mechanism for sharing agricultural practices of millet cultivation among friendly countries to create an effective supply chain from field to market. This idea can be helpful to other countries facing similar challenges.
For example, African countries like Mali and Burkina Faso have long been growing millet, which is an important source of food and income for their farmers. However, the potential of millets is often overlooked, and there is a need to promote it as a solution to food security and climate change. A study published in the journal Food Policy notes that “millet is highly nutritious, drought-tolerant, and well-suited to the soil and climatic conditions of sub-Saharan Africa, where food insecurity and malnutrition are rampant” (Smale et al., 2018). By promoting the cultivation of millet and developing a stable mechanism for sharing agricultural practices, African countries can increase their food security and resilience to climate change.
Another idea that can be borrowed is the importance of promoting millets as a solution to water crisis issues. The Indian Prime Minister highlighted the climate-resilient quality of millet and its potential to combat water crisis issues. This idea can be helpful to other countries facing water scarcity and droughts.
For example, California, a state in the United States, has been facing a severe drought for several years. According to a report by the Pacific Institute, “millet is one of the most drought-tolerant crops, requiring only about half as much water as maize, and can be grown on marginal lands that are unsuitable for other crops” (Hoffman et al., 2015). By promoting the cultivation of millet, California can reduce its water usage and increase its resilience to droughts.
In conclusion, the ideas of promoting millet cultivation as a solution to food security, climate change, and water crisis issues can be borrowed from the above response. By developing a stable mechanism for sharing agricultural practices and promoting the cultivation of millet, countries can increase their food security, resilience to climate change, and reduce their water usage.