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International Year of Millets 2023: A Recap

The International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023, concluded with a closing ceremony held at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy, on March 29th, 2024. The event served as a platform to assess the accomplishments and insights gained from the year-long celebration.

Declaration and Significance

  • In March 2021, the United Nations General Assembly designated 2023 as the International Year of Millets following a proposal by India, supported by over 70 countries.
  • Millets, resilient grains capable of thriving in arid conditions, were highlighted for their suitability in adverse climates and potential to foster sustainable market opportunities.

Overview of Millets

  • Millets are grains adaptable to arid lands requiring minimal inputs, presenting a solution for countries seeking self-reliance and reduced reliance on imported grains.
  • They possess unique traits enabling them to withstand poor soils, resist diseases and pests, and endure adverse climatic conditions.


  • Millets offer solutions to food scarcity while promoting sustainable land restoration and biodiversity.
  • Their culinary versatility, ranging from savory to sweet dishes, complements various dietary preferences, including gluten-free diets.
  • Millets’ genetic diversity holds potential for income generation and strengthens local economies by enhancing value chains and supporting livelihoods.

About FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, focuses on global food and agricultural issues. Led by Director-General Qu Dongyu, FAO aims to lead international efforts to combat hunger. Established in 1945, FAO’s headquarters are in Rome, Italy, with India being one of its founding members. World Food Day, commemorating FAO’s establishment, is observed annually on October 16th.

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