India Celebrated the year 2018 as the National Year of Millet., Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, spoke on the benefits of millets and coarse grains at the Yoga Awards and Ayush Centre Launch ceremony on 30 August 2019 and at inauguration of World Food India 2017, held between 3-5 November 2017 at New Delhi. He highlighted the role of millets in ensuring food security and nutrition, underlining their resilience to adverse climate conditions, and their potential to ensure increased incomes for resource-poor farmers. Smart Food Initiative identified several key issues in developing the value chain for Millets and Sorghum in India: Industry workshops, focus groups and a survey with 78 small to medium enterprises (including farmer producer organizations and product manufacturers) were undertaken. Top challenges included:
- Attracting Investment Funding
- Costs to sell through large retail chains
- Lack of awareness among consumers
- Image of millets as old-fashioned food.
- Making it as easy and quick as possible to prepare tasty millet dishes. See recipes section – but much more to come; and
- Making it easy to find millet producers and products. Here is the list of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) producing millets and Sorghum in India. New tools are being developed for finding products made from Millets and Sorghum.
- Change the image of millets to something modern and create a buzz around them. A range of campaign work and engaging celebrity chefs will be undertaken.
- Smart Food Culinary Symposium for chefs and restaurateurs
- Placing smart food in Industrial Canteen Menu
- Renamed Millets and Sorghum as Nutricereals (Gazette Notification 10 April, 2018)
- Declared 2018 as a National Year of Millets (Press Note 22 march, 2018)
- Inclusion of Millets in Mid-day meal (DO letter from MHRD 6 September, 2019)
- Leading a global movement to have 2023 declared as the International Year of Millets. (Read more)