New Delhi: With an aim to take collaboration and cooperation on Millets to the next stage, a high-level Indian delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare arrived in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria on Thursday.
In a departure statement to Nigeria for a four-day “Millet-Specific Visit” from 26-29, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Abhilaksh Likhi said it comes in the wake of India kick-starting the International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023 on the very first day of this year with focused activities being undertaken by Central Ministries, state governments and Indian Embassies.
Nigeria is the second richest and the most populous country of the 54 Nations in African Continent and it could become a Model of South-South Cooperation on Millets along with other Indian important partners like Egypt, South Africa Algeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and others to address the “lack of food security”, which remains one of the most formidable challenges facing the African continent.
India and Africa’s complementary sectoral priorities and similar roles in the evolving global food markets present numerous opportunities for collaboration in the agricultural sector, and particularly in areas of Millets Production and Promotion.
Spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre sponsored the proposal for International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023 which was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The declaration has been instrumental for the Government to be at the forefront in celebrating the IYM.
It may be recalled that The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, organised an opening ceremony for the International Year of Millets – 2023 (IYM2023) in Rome, Italy.
Officials said that Embassies of India across more than 140 countries will be participating in celebration of IYM during 2023 by conducting side events on IYM involving the Indian Diaspora through exhibition, seminars, talks, panel discussions along with the participation of local chambers, food bloggers, importers of food items and local restaurants etc.
They said that cooked millets dish exhibitions/ contests will be organised with the help of Indian diaspora and Millets dishes will be served as part of the Republic Day celebrations.
Dwelling on his Nigeria visit, Likhi said, the High Commission of India in Abuja and Consulate General of India in Lagos, as part of promotion of IYM, have planned a Millets Food Festival and a Millets Food preparation competition during this high-level visit to Nigeria. The Millets Food Festival would be held at the High Commission premises and provide stalls for preparation with invitees, including both Nigerian dignitaries and Indian community.