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2023: International Year of Millets

The United Nations General Assembly has declared the year 2023 as the ‘International Year of Millets’ (IYM2023). This was adopted by a United Nations Resolution for which India took the lead and was supported by over 70 nations. India celebrated 2018 as the National Year of Millets for encouraging cultivation and consumption of these nutri-cereals.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, organized an opening ceremony for IYM2023 in December 2022 in Rome, Italy. An Indian delegation led by Sushri Shobha Karandlaje, Minister of State, Agriculture & Farmers Welfare was present at the opening ceremony.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his message at the Opening Ceremony said: “Millets have a glorious history of being among the earliest crops grown by humans. They have been an important food source in the past. But the need of the hour is to make them a food choice for the future!”

IYM2023 will help in creating awareness throughout the world about the significant role of millets in sustainable agriculture and its benefits as a smart and superfood. Government of India has declared to celebrate IYOM, 2023 to make it a people’s movement so that the Indian millets, recipes, and value-added products are accepted globally. The ‘International Year of Millets’ stands to provide a unique opportunity to increase global production, ensure efficient processing and consumption, promote better utilization of crop rotations and encourage better connectivity throughout food systems to promote millets as a key component of the food basket.

Towards this endeavour, through a collaborative approach, the GoI urges everyone including the Indian embassies, International Organizations, Academia, Hotels, Media, Indian Diaspora, Start-up communities, Civil Society, and all others in the Millets value-chain to come forward and join hands to revive the forgotten glory of ‘Miracle Millets’ through the grand celebration of International Year of Millets – 2023.

‘Millets’ were among the first crops to be domesticated in India with several evidence of its’ consumption during the Indus valley civilization. Being grown in more than 130 countries at present, Millets are considered traditional food for more than half a billion people across Asia and Africa.

In India, millets are primarily a kharif crop, requiring less water and agricultural inputs than other similar staples. Millets are important by the virtue of its mammoth potential to generate livelihood, increase farmers’ income and ensure food & nutritional security all over the world.

Jowar and Proso Millets (Common Millet) are the most cultivated millets in the 112 and 35 countries respectively. Sorghum and pearl millets covers more than 90% area and production. Remaining production comes from Ragi (Finger Millets), Cheena (Proso Millets), Foxtail Millets (Kangni) and other non-segregated millets.

India is the major production country of Millet in which Kangni, Kutki or small millet, Kodon, Gangora or Barnyard, china and Brown top are included with Jowar, Bajra, Ragi and small millets. India is poised to become the global hub for millets with a production of more than 170 lakh tonnes which makes for more than 80 % of the millets produced in Asia.

Millets provide an alternative food system in times of increasing demand for vegetarian foods. Millets contribute to a balanced diet as well as a safe environment. These are the gifts of nature to mankind.


  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1881256#:~:text=Sushri Shobha Karandlaje conveyed PM,Year of Millets (IYM)
  2. PM’s message during opening ceremony of International Year of Millets at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy
  3. https://www.fao.org/3/cc3253en/cc3253en.pdf
  4. https://www.mygov.in/campaigns/millets/