NITI Aayog signs a Statement of Intent with United Nations World Food Program (WFP)

New Delhi : Recognizing the importance of millets, Government of India observed 2018 as a year of millets to encourage and promote the millet production. Leading this initiative further, GoI spearheaded the UNGA resolution for declaring 2023 as International Year of Millets.

Numerous steps have been taken to promote millets including establishment of centre for Excellence, Integration of nutri-cereals in National Food Security Act and establishment of Millet Mission in multiple states. Despite this, various challenges in terms of production, distribution and adaptability among consumers remain. Under the distribution system, it is time that we shift the focus of food distribution programmes from ‘calories fundamentalism’ to providing a more diversified food basket, including coarse grains and millets to improve the nutritional status of pre-school children and women of reproductive age. NITI Aayog and WFP intend to identify and address these challenges in a systematic and effective manner.

NITI Aayog signed a Statement of Intent with United Nations World Food Program (WFP) on 20th December 2021. The partnership focuses on mainstreaming of millets and supporting India in taking lead globally in knowledge exchange using the opportunity of 2023 as an International Year of Millets. Further, the partnership will aim at building resilient livelihoods for small-holder farmers and adaptation capacities to climate change and transforming food systems.

The Sol focuses on strategic and technical collaboration between NITI Aayog and WFP, to strengthen the climate resilient agriculture for enhanced food and nutrition security in India.

The parties will be working on the following activities:

  • Joint development of a compendium of good practices around millets mainstreaming in priority states and development of a scaling up strategy.
  • To provide technical support for scaling up of millets mainstreaming through intense engagement in select states with support from state governments, IIMR & other associated institutions. Parties will jointly organize a national consultation for line ministries of the Government of India, concerned departments of State governments, select academic institutions and organizations working in the field of millets mainstreaming.
  • To support leveraging of India’s expertise to benefit other developing countries for millets mainstreaming by creation of knowledge management platforms and facilitation of knowledge exchange.

The outcome of this partnership will be achieved in following four phases:

Phase I: Development of a best practice compendium around millet mainstreaming and a scale-up strategy

Phase II: Support scale-up of millet mainstreaming through knowledge sharing and intense engagement with select states

Phase III: Leverage India’s expertise to support developing countries for millet mainstreaming

Phase IV: Working on building capacities for climate resilient and adaptive livelihood practices