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G20 Delhi Summit Showcases Women Farmers' Millet Revolution

Spouses of G20 leaders visited India's Agricultural Research Institute to learn about millets and promote their consumption during PM Modi's "Year of Millets" initiative, engaging in activities like rangoli creation and sampling millet-based dishes.

Shivangi Rai
During their visit, the group met female farmers involved in millet production. (Image Courtesy- Twitter)
During their visit, the group met female farmers involved in millet production. (Image Courtesy- Twitter)

The spouses of G20 leaders visited the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) to learn about these healthy and hardy grains before the Saturday night dinner at Bharat Mandapam, where millets were prominently featured.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared 2023 as the Year of Millets to renew interest in these grains, which have been overshadowed by wheat and other grains over the years.

During their visit, the group met female farmers involved in millet production. They also took part in creating rangoli patterns using millets and observed celebrity chefs preparing a full-course millet-based meal on Saturday morning. This unique exhibition showcasing India's agricultural expertise was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare.

The visit began with a demonstration of rangoli made from millets. The first rangoli had a theme emphasizing India's agricultural traditions and the crucial role of women in enhancing agricultural resilience, while the second one focused on global unity and India's commitment to unity and sustainability. The spouses tried their hand at making rangoli and took pictures with the women farmers.

One of the exhibition highlights was the "agri gully" or agricultural street, featuring nine interactive stalls with experts, scientists, and farmers.

Several women farmers shared their experiences. Niramala Bhasker from Chattisgarh talked about making laddoos from ragi, which the visitors appreciated. Richa Singh from Bihar mentioned their millet farming and the production of millet products like ragi cookies, jowar muffins, and ragi pancake mix. She was delighted that the spouses praised her products.

Lahri Bai, a young female farmer from Dindori, Madhya Pradesh, stood out for conserving over 150 indigenous seed varieties, including about 50 types of millet seeds, earning her the title of 'Millet Queen' of India.

The visitors received hampers as a token of appreciation. Anita Yogesh Malge, a farmer from Maharashtra, handed a hamper to one of the spouses and considered it one of the most memorable moments of her life. She expressed happiness that the work of women farmers was showcased globally.

The hampers contained items representing India's rich cultural and artistic heritage, including handwoven stoles made from silk sourced from the Sal forests of Chhattisgarh, a handcrafted bell metal figurine created using the ancient lost wax technique reminiscent of the iconic 'Dancing Girl' artifact from the Harappan civilization, and a Cheriyal painting.

The group also had the opportunity to see the work of 15 startups demonstrating innovative technology to address on-the-ground challenges, witness live cooking sessions featuring millet-based dishes, and explore stalls by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research showcasing the latest agricultural technology innovations.

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