Agriculture marketing co-operative NAFED has signed an MoU with the Ministry of Agriculture to extend its support on the various government initiatives to promote millets, under which start-ups will get additional market access to sell their products.

Under the collaboration, NAFED will set up a Millet Corner in all its retail outlets (NAFED bazaars), install Millet Vending Machines (MVMs) in Delhi and its adjoining places such as Gurugram and Noida, the Union Agriculture Ministry said in a statement. “We are also in the process of establishing a Millets Experience Centre at Delhi Haat (near INA) to promote the nutritious cereals and help create awareness on the rich history of millet-based dishes,” a NAFED official said.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has directed NAFED to contribute and promote the “International Year of the Millet 2023” (IyoM-23) on a global scale.

Speaking on the occasion of signing of the MoU, Tomar said all Central ministries and States, leading food and beverage bodies and industries should pitch in to make IYoM-23 a “people’s movement” and help position India as the ‘Global Hub for Millets.’

Building momentum

The minister said the G20 Presidency, which also coincides with the IYoM, provides India an opportunity to showcase the country’s strength in the area of food security and nutrition in which millets will play a very important role. To build the momentum for the popularisation of millets and to make the IYoM-23 a huge success, the inclusion of millets across all international and national events is crucial, he added.

Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja said for all the ministerial level meetings, both in Centre and in States, millet-based hampers will be provided. Besides, the government has been branding millets at places such as airports, city sides and in the venues of all G20 meetings. The Agriculture Ministry has requested organisers (of G20 meetings) for inclusion of millet cuisine and snacks in lunch/dinner, he said, adding that millet stalls and café, millet rangolis and millet literature are other promotional measures being undertaken.

NAFED has been now given the responsibility of providing specially curated millet-based hampers which will showcase cultural history of millets, DIY recipes as well as nutritional benefits of the cereals.