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Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi Organizes Millet Luncheon at Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan, New Delhi

Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi hosted a luncheon on February 3, during which several food items made from various millets were served.

Shivam Dwivedi
Meenakshi Lekhi discussed the nutritional benefits of millets and how India is working to popularize them.
Meenakshi Lekhi discussed the nutritional benefits of millets and how India is working to popularize them.

Lekhi hosted a 'Millet Lunch' for a group of journalists and government officials at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan. Some members of the media were particularly interested in the recipes for the millet-based dishes served at the banquet.


Among the menu items were foxtail millet vegetable soup, millet fish fingers with mint tartare, beet and jowar malai kofta (with sorghum millet), and bajra cutlet (pearl millet and vegetable medallions). According to the menu card displayed on the tables, the desserts included thinnai payasam, which was made with millet and milk.

During an interview with several journalists, Lekhi, the Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, discussed the nutritional benefits of millets and how India is working to popularise them.

The Government of India, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sponsored the proposal for the International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023, which was approved by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare said in a statement.


The declaration has enabled the GOI to be at the forefront of commemorating the IYM. PM Modi has also shared his vision for making IYM 2023 a "people's movement," as well as positioning India as a "global hub for millets," according to the statement. Millets were one of the first crops to be domesticated in India, with evidence of their consumption dating back to the Indus Valley civilization. Millets are currently grown in more than 130 countries and are considered traditional food for more than half a billion people in Asia and Africa, according to the report.

Millets are primarily a kharif crop in India, necessitating less water and agricultural inputs than other similar staples. Millets are significant because of their enormous potential to generate livelihoods, increase farmer income, and ensure global food and nutritional security.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations held an opening ceremony for the International Year of Millets - 2023 in Rome, Italy, on December 6, 2022. A delegation of senior government officials from India also attended the event, according to the statement.


The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare had hosted a special 'Millet Luncheon' for Members of Parliament on the Parliament House premises prior to the year-long celebration of IYM 2023, according to the statement. During the 74th Republic Day parade on Kartavya Path, colourful patterns made of millet grains adorned the tableau of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).


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