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ASEAN-India Millet Festival 2023 Kicks Off In South Jakarta, Indonesia

 

The ASEAN-India Millet Festival 2023, a collaborative effort between the Indian Mission to ASEAN and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, has taken center stage in Indonesia from November 22 to 26. This festival serves as a platform to raise awareness about millets, promote culinary diversity, and foster sustainable agriculture.

Inaugural Session at Kota Kasablanka Mall

  • The festival commenced with a grand inaugural session at the Kota Kasablanka Mall in South Jakarta.
  • The session featured a Millet-centric exhibition that saw active participation from Millet-based Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), start-ups, and Indian chefs.

Aligning with the International Year of Millets (IYM)

  • The festival aligns seamlessly with the International Year of Millets (IYM) celebrations, seeking to create a market for millets and millet-based products among ASEAN Member states.
  • The participating countries include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Diverse Indian Delegation

  • The Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare spearheads a diverse delegation from India, comprising professionals deeply engaged in the Indian millet ecosystem. This includes chefs, start-ups, FPO representatives, industry leaders, and state officials.

Insights from Experts

  • During the inaugural session, Dr. Maninder Kaur Dwivedi, Additional Secretary at DA&FW and Head of the Indian Delegation, shared valuable insights into millet cultivation, processing, and the business potential of these ancient grains.
  • Ms. Shubha Thakur, Joint Secretary (Crops) at DA&FW, showcased India’s leading role in celebrating the International Year of Millets 2023.

Exhibitors and Participants

  • The festival boasts the participation of five Indian FPOs and two start-ups, showcasing unique millet-added products such as cookies, namkeen, khakhra, cakes, and more.

Live Cooking Workshop

  • A highlight of the event is the live cooking workshop from November 23 to 26, featuring celebrity chefs from India and Indonesia presenting dishes like Foxtail Millet Tabouleh, Mixed Millet Mathri Canopies, Millet Risotto, Millet Curd Rice, Ragi brownie, and cookies each day.

Festival’s Contribution to Awareness

  • The five-day festival aims to contribute to raising awareness about millets and represents a step towards implementing the ASEAN-India Joint Leaders’ Statement on Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Response to Crises.

Ambassador’s Perspective

  • Ambassador of India to ASEAN, Mr. Jayant Khobragade, highlighted the crucial role of millets in addressing global hunger and nutrient deficiencies in his welcome remarks.
  • Mr. Arief Prasetyo Adi, Head of the National Food Agency (Badan Pangan Nasional), Indonesia, underscored millets as a farmer-friendly and sustainable food choice for the future in the face of climate change.

Panel Discussions

  • The festival includes insightful panel discussions, such as ‘ASEAN-India Collaboration in Millets,’ moderated by Mr. Ashish Kumar Bhutani, Additional Chief Secretary & Agriculture Production Commissioner, Govt. of Assam.
  • Another engaging panel, moderated by Dr. C Tara Satyavathi, Director, ICAR-IIMR, highlighted the inherent climate-resilient qualities of millets and initiatives combating climate change through millet cultivation.

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