Shree Anna Takes Centre Stage: PM Modi Inaugurates Global Millets Conference
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (18 March) inaugurated the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference at Subramaniam Hall, NASC complex, IARI campus, PUSA New Delhi.
The two-day global conference will have sessions on all important issues related to millets (Shree Anna) like promotion and awareness of millets among producers, consumers and other stakeholders; millets’ value chain development; health and nutritional aspects of millets; market linkages; research and development etc.
The Prime Minister also inaugurated and visited the Exhibition cum Buyer Seller Meet Pavilion. He also unveiled a Commemorative Stamp and Commemorative Coin.
Further, PM Modi digitally launched a compendium of Indian Millet (Shri Anna) startups and a book of millet (Shri Anna) standards.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister congratulated everyone on the organisation of the Global Millets Conference and said that such events are not just a necessity for the global good but also a symbol of India’s responsibilities towards the global good.
Highlighting the importance of turning a resolution into a desirable outcome, the Prime Minister reiterated that the year 2023 was declared the International Year of Millets by the United Nations after persistent efforts by India.
He expressed delight that India's campaign is a significant step in this direction when the world is celebrating the International Year of Millets.
The Prime Minister highlighted that brainstorming sessions will be held on topics such as the farming of millets, millets economy, health benefits, and farmers’ income among others with the active participation of Gram Panchayat, Krishi Kendras, schools, colleges and agricultural universities along with the Indian embassies and several foreign countries.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the unveiling of a commemorative coin and a postal stamp to mark the occasion along with the book launch on millet standards and the declaration of the Indian Institute of Millets Research of ICAR as a Global Centre of Excellence.
He asked the delegates to visit the exhibition at the venue and understand all the dimensions related to millet farming under one roof.
He expressed his appreciation for the youth’s initiative to bring startups for millet-related enterprises and farming. “This is an indication of India’s commitment to millets”, he said.
The Prime Minister informed the foreign delegates about India’s branding initiatives for millets as India now calls millets - Shree Anna.
He elaborated that Shri Anna is not limited to just food or farming.
Those acquainted with Indian tradition will understand the importance of prefixing Shree before anything.
Underlining the consistent efforts of the government to turn Shree Anna into a global movement, the Prime Minister informed that millets were declared nutri-cereals in 2018 where work was carried out on all levels from making the farmers aware of its benefits to generating interest in the market.
PM Modi noted that millets are primarily cultivated in 12-13 different states in the country where at-home consumption per month per person was not more than 3 kilograms whereas the consumption has increased to 14 kilograms per month today.
He also informed that the sale of millet food products has also seen a boost of roughly 30 per cent. He also noted the inception of millet cafes apart from social media channels dedicated to recipes on millets, according to a PMO release.
“Millets have also been selected in 19 districts of the country under the ‘One District, One Product’ scheme”, PM Modi added.
Informing that about 2.5 crore small farmers are directly involved in the production of millets in India, the Prime Minister noted that they faced the challenges of climate change even though they own very little land.
“India's Millet Mission - The campaign for Shri Anna will prove to be a boon for 2.5 crore farmers of the country”, the Prime Minister said.
He pointed out that it is the first time after independence that the government has taken care of 2.5 crore small farmers who grow millets.
Noting that millets are now reaching stores and markets through processed and packaged food items, the Prime Minister underlined that the income of these 2.5 crore small farmers will increase when the Shree Anna market gets a boost, thereby giving strength to the rural economy.
The Prime Minister informed that more than 500 startups working on Shree Anna have come up and a large number of FPOs are also coming forward in the last few years.
He also pointed out that a complete supply chain is being developed in the country where women from self-help groups in small villages are making millet products that are making their way into malls and supermarkets.
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