New Delhi: Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi on Friday (February 3) hosted a luncheon during which several food items made with a variety of millets were served, at a time when the International Year of Millets 2023 is being marked. She hosted the ‘Millet Lunch’ at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan here for a group of journalists and many officials. Some of the mediapersons took a keen interest in the recipes of the millet-based items served during the banquet.
The menu included foxtail millet vegetable soup, millet fish fingers with mint tartare, beet and jowar malai kofta (having sorghum millet as an ingredient), bajra cutlet (pearl millet and vegetable medallions), among other items.
The desserts included thinnai payasam, made with millet and milk, showed the menu card displayed on the tables.
During interaction with many journalists, Ms Lekhi, the Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, spoke of the nutritional values of millets and how India is making efforts to popularise it.
Spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Government of India had sponsored the proposal for International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023 which was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare had said in a statement on January 1.
The declaration has been instrumental for the GOI to be at the forefront in celebrating the IYM.
PM Modi has also shared his vision to make IYM 2023 a ‘people’s movement alongside positioning India as the ‘global hub for millets’, the statement said.
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, it said.
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 livelihoods, increase farmers’ income and ensure food and nutritional security all over the world.
On December 6, 2022, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations organised an opening ceremony for the International Year of Millets – 2023 in Rome, Italy. The event was attended by a delegation of senior government officials from India, it added.
Prior to the year-long celebration of IYM 2023, the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare had hosted a special ‘Millet Luncheon’ for the Members of Parliament on the Parliament House premises, the statement said.
Colourful patterns created using millet grains had adorned the tableau of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) during the 74th Republic Day parade on Kartavya Path.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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