International Year of Millets 2023


Why Millets?

Millets are often called “Nutri-Cereals” due to their high nutritional content (protein, fiber, micronutrients and phytochemicals) and compared to other cereals, they have a low carbon and water footprint and can grow on relatively poor soils, under adverse and arid conditions, with minimal inputs.

Millets were among the first plants to be domesticated and have served as a traditional staple for millions of families in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. More than 90% of millet production today takes place in developing countries of Africa and Asia.

However, the cultivation of millets is declining in many countries and their potential to address food and nutritional security is not being realized. Hence, there is an urgent need to promote the nutritional and ecological benefit of millets to consumers, producers, and decision-makers; to improve production efficiencies, research &development investments and food sector linkages.

Why an International Year

The proposal for an International Year of Millets (2023) was put forth by the Government of India and endorsed by Members of FAO Governing Bodies; 26th Session of COAG;160th Session of FAO Council, and 41 FAO Conference. It was adopted by the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly in March 2021.

The primary objective of the resolution was to raise awareness and direct policy action to the nutritional and health benefits of millets consumption and their suitability for cultivation under adverse and changing climatic conditions and draw focus for enhanced investments in R&D and extension services related to millets.

The International Year of Millets will provide a unique opportunity to help create greater awareness of millet production, contribute to food security, nutrition, ensure livelihoods and incomes of farmers, poverty eradication, particularly in regions that are drought-prone or threatened by climate change. In addition, it will promote millets as a key component of the food basket; and further advance the implementation of SDGs 2, 3, 12 and 13.


Tuesday 22 March


8:30 am EDT

Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti

Permanent Representative of the Republic of India to the United Nations in New York


Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande

Permanent Representative of Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Nations in New York


8:38am EDT

Dr. B. Rajender

Alternate Permanent Representative of India to FAO, WFP and IFAD, Embassy of the Republic of India in Italy



8:43am EDT

The International Year of Millets 2023: Plans and Objectives

Dr. Jingyuan Xia

Director,Plant Production and Protection Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

The International Year of Millets 2023: Plans by India

Ms. Shubha Thakur

Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India


Global research and development program of millets

Dr. Jacqueline d’Arros Hughes

Director General, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics



9:18am EDT

Questions and interventions from the floor


9:40am EDT