Embassy of India, Kathmandu organized an India-Nepal Agri Meet cum Curtain Raiser for the International Year of Millets 2023 in a hybrid format in association with the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) also participated in the event. Nepali side’s participation in the event was led by Dr. Govind Prasad Sharma, Secretary (Agriculture Development), Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Government of Nepal.
The resolution to celebrate the International Year of Millets 2023 (IYM 2023) was adopted in the United Nations in 2021 at the initiative of India with the support of 72 other countries.
India is the world's largest producer of millets, producing 17 million tonnes annually of nine different varieties of millets, which is about 20% of global production. Millets offer unique nutritional benefits and can grow on arid land with minimal rainfall and are relatively resilient to changes in climate. According to FAO, they offer an ideal solution for countries to increase self-sufficiency and reduce reliance on imported cereal grains.
India-Nepal agricultural cooperation is anchored in the ‘India-Nepal New Partnership in Agriculture, which was launched in 2018 with a focus on collaborative projects in agricultural research, development and education. India and Nepal are also significant trading partners of each other for a variety of agricultural products, including millet.
Addressing the gathering, Prasanna Shrivastava, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Kathmandu highlighted the importance as well as the potential of millets in ensuring food security for the world. Dr. Tarun Bajaj, Director, APEDA, elaborated on the export promotion and capacity-building efforts by APEDA towards IYM 2023.
From the Nepali side, Dr. Govinda Prasad Sharma, Secretary (Agriculture development), Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development, Government of Nepal, spoke about the importance millets hold in Nepal, and also identified the areas of bilateral cooperation in the agricultural sector. Dr. Ram Krishna Shrestha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development delivered a presentation on the “Millets Promotion Endeavours of the Government of Nepal and International Year of Millets 2023”.
The embassy will continue to promote India-Nepal cooperation in agriculture and will promote millets through a variety of activities centered around the theme of the International Year of Millets 2023.