(22 December, Ooramana, Ernakulam)
Give a few thematic pictures
The UN General Assembly has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYM). Taking clue from this, Global Millets Foundation ( GMF) has been formed as a Think Tank to promote the cultivation, production and distribution and consumption of value added products of millets (small grains). It aims at fostering, among others:
1) Encourage and assist farmers producing quality millets.
2) Support manufacturing of value added products.
3) Promote millets for healthy living.
4) Create awareness about millets among producers and consumers.
5) Act as a knowledge platform related to millet.
6) Encourage Self Help Groups (SHGs) and other groups to cultivate millets in barren and abandoned lands.
7) To organize study tours of millets farmers to major centres of millets cultivation in India and abroad.
8) Join hands with the UN’s COP and SDGs related to carbon neutrality, women’s empowerment, and climate change.
9) Conduct awareness programmes in schools, colleges, local self-governing bodies like Panchayats, NGOs, social organizations like Lions, Rotaries, NSS, etc.
The Secretary General of the organization, Dr. KM George explained the major underlying reasons to go for such an innovative and dynamic initiative. He informed that soon the chapters will be started in different parts of Kerala and elsewhere and the activities of Global Millets Foundation will be carried out on an all India basis and in foreign countries.
Millets has been used since the time of the Indus Valley Civilization and continues. Historical records show that millets have been in use for at least 5000 years. Millets are environmentally friendly. Former Justice Dr. K Narayana Kurup who delivered the presidential address said that millets are the best way to fight malnutrition, hunger and various diseases caused by modern food culture and fast food diets.
Food security and nutritional prosperity along with empowerment of marginalized people and women can be achieved through millets cultivation and related initiatives, according to Dr. KPP Nambiar the former FAO/UNIFOFISH. Dr. KPP Nambiar, the patron of Global Millets Foundation, said that millet cultivation will become a golden opportunity to save our world from the impending disaster of food shortages and starvation and combat the threats of climate change.
Global Millets Foundation, Kerala Chapter, was inaugurated by Shri. PH Kurian IAS. He said unless a good budgetary allocation is there in the uniron budget for 2023, millets propagation is only wish full dream. Marginal costs and marginal returns must guide the policy makers along with opportunity costs to be realistic in the approach during the IYM. Any amount of sermons for millets must be backed with funds allocation in the budget.
The logo and website of Global Millets Foundation was launched on the occasion.
Ms. Lily Bhavana Khauler from Australia, Mr. Ajikumar Nair, Mr. Nasser Ezhutenikkad, former-IG Mr. A. M. Muhammad I. P. S., Dr. Matthew Abraham, Mr. Joy Mookantottam and others participated in the function and spoke.
Later, a first-of-its-kind millet food fest was held in Kerala featuring more than 25 millet dishes.