Press Archives Press Releases

International Year of Millets, 2023

Press Release

Permanent Mission of India to the UN

New York


International Year of Millets, 2023


India along with Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia and Senegal had tabled draft resolution entitled “International Year of Millets 2023”. Today, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution with more than 70 countries co-sponsoring it.


2. Millets often called "Nutri-Cereals" encompass a diverse group of cereals and were among the first plants that were domesticated and have served as a traditional staple crop 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.


3. Millets provide high energy, high dietary fiber, proteins, many essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, all of which play a substantial role in lowering diabetes. The diversity of millets offers opportunities for economic development through income-generating activities in the food sector.


4. Millets also grow on poor soils with little or no inputs, have a low carbon and water footprint, are resistant to many crop diseases and pests and can survive in adverse climatic conditions.


5. While millet cultivation has been historically widespread, their production is declining in many countries. 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, and development investments and food sector linkages.


6. The primary objective of the resolution is 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. The resolution will also draw focus for enhaced investments in R&D and extension services related to millets.


7. The resolution is based on the resolution on the benefits of millets consumption adopted by the FAO at its 41st session held in Rome in June, 2019. The resolution requested the General Assembly to declare 2023 the International Year of Millets.


8. The commemoration of the International Year of Millets will help in creating greater awareness of millet production. It will contribute to food security, nutrition, ensuring livelihoods and incomes of farmers, poverty eradication and the achievement of the SDGs, particularly in regions that are drought prone or threatened by climate change. It will also help promote millets as a key component of the food basket.