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India pushes millets to tackle supply uncertainties, climate change

India has intensified its efforts for a global push to counter the challenges to ensure food security - threatened by Covid-19, conflicts and climate change - through increased millet production and consumption. The disruption of wheat supply, first during Covid and at present due to the Ukraine war, has underlined the importance of creating domestic and global demand for millets as it could resolve the twin problems of supply uncertainties and climate change. The government's push, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to increase awareness around millet resulted in a significant achievement last year when the UN General Assembly declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. India has already notified millets as nutri-cereals because of its nutritional value - millets are rich source of Protein, Fibre, Minerals, Iron, Calcium and have a low glycemic index. India's focus on food security through increased production of millets was echoed by external affairs minister S Jaishankar during a luncheon on Thursday where he stressed that millets are important for food security as well as international relations. "International relations started with food security. The fundamental urge to secure their own food and to see how they can get food from others. That is why we were keen to take the Indian year of millets to the International year of millets," the minister said. Other varieties of millets grown in India are Little millet, Kodo millet, Barnyard millet, and Foxtail millet, among others. "In order to promote consumption of Millets and in view of their health benefits, all offices of the Department of Food and Public Distribution have recently directed to introduce and promote millets in their canteens and in meetings," the ministry said in a statement.

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