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International Year of Millets 2023

International Year of Millets 2023

The Indian government had suggested to the United Nation for declaring the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYOM). India got the support of 72 other countries, on 5th March 2021. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets.

The initiative of the Indian government is of celebrating IYOM 2023. It is done by making the population aware of the millet benefits and increasing the acceptability of the value added of millet across the country and world.

The international year of millet gives a thriving opportunity to

  1. Increase the contribution of millet to food security.
  2. Increase the global production of millets
  3. Ensuring efficient processing, transport, storage, and consumption.
  4. Sustainable production and quality of millet with the involvement of the stakeholder.

Indian millets are a group of nutritiously rich, drought tolerant. Millets are mostly grown in the arid and semi-arid regions of India. They are small-seeded grasses belonging to the botanical family Poaceae. They constitute an important source of food and fodder for millions of resource-poor farmers. It also play a vital role in ecological and economic security of India. These millets are also known as “coarse cereals” or “cereals of the impoverish people“. Indian Millets are nutritionally superior to wheat and rice as they are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. They are also gluten-free and have a low glycemic index, making them ideal for people with celiac disease or diabetes.

India’s Millet Trade

India is among the top 5 exporters of millets in world. World export of millet has increased from $400 million in 2020 to $470 million in 2021 (ITC trade map). India exported millets worth $75.46 million in the year 2022-23, against $62.95 million in 2021-22. Share of Millet based value added products is negligible.

India is the world’s largest producer and exporter of cereal products. In the fiscal year 2022-23, India’s export of cereals amounted to Rs. 111,062.37 Crore / 13,857.95 USD Millions. Rice, including Basmati and Non-Basmati varieties, accounted for the majority share of India’s total cereal exports, comprising 80% in value terms during the same period. On the other hand, other cereals, including wheat, represented only a 20% share of the total cereals exported from India during this period.

Benefits of Millets

  1. Nutrient-rich: Millets are rich in nutrients like magnesium, calcium, iron, and potassium. They also contain essential amino acids.
  2. Gluten-free: Millets are naturally gluten-free, making them a suitable grain for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
  3. High in fiber: Millets are a good source of dietary fiber, which aids digestion, prevents constipation, and promotes a healthy gut.
  4. Low glycemic index: Millets have a low glycemic index, which helps in managing blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of diabetes.
  5. Rich in antioxidants: Millets are rich in antioxidants, which help in fighting oxidative stress and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  6. Heart-healthy: The high fiber and magnesium content in millets can help in reducing cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of heart disease.
  7. Weight management: Millets are filling and can help in managing weight by keeping you full for longer periods.
  8. Versatile: Millets can be used in various dishes like porridge, upma, salads, and even in baked goods, making them a versatile ingredient in the kitchen.
  9. Protein supplementation: When consumed with legumes, millets provide mutual supplementation of protein, increasing amino acid content and digestibility.
  10. Convenience: Ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat millet-based products are easily accessible and convenient for urban populations.
  11. Dual-purpose: Millets serve as both food and fodder, enhancing farming efficiency.
  12. Environmental impact: Millet cultivation can help reduce the carbon footprint.

Nutritional Benefits of Millets (for 100g of each millet)

 Protein (g)Fiber (g)Minerals (g)Iron (mg)Calcium (mg)
Pearl millet10.61.32.316.938
Finger millet7.
Foxtail millet12.383.32.831
Proso millet12.
Kodo millet8.392.60.527
Little millet7.
Barnyard millet11.210.14.415.211
Brown top millet11.512.54.20.650.01
International year of Millets: Benefits of millets

India’s Millet Production Scenario


Millet is a staple food in many parts of the world, especially in Africa and Asia, with an estimated 1.2 billion people consuming it as part of their diet.


  • Millet production has been relatively stable, with around 28 million metric tons produced in 2020.
  • Africa is the largest producer of millet, followed by Asia.
  • India leads in millet production, followed by Niger and China. Other major producers include Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal.

Role in Diets:

  • While not a major food crop in the developed world, millet plays a crucial role in the diets of many in developing countries.
  • Millet is drought-tolerant and can thrive in arid climates where other crops struggle.

Nutritional Value:

  • Millet is high in fiber and essential minerals, making it a nutritious grain.

Growth in India:

  • Millet production in India has been increasing, with farmers planting more millet as a drought-resistant crop.
  • The Indian government is actively promoting millet production through initiatives like the National Food Security Mission.

Here is the production trend of millets in India:

YearProduction (in million metric tons)
International Year of Millets; Production trends in India

India’s Millet Producing States

India is a leading producer and supplier of millet, with numerous sourcing points across the country. The main millet-growing states in India are Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. These states have a significant number of millet farmers who cultivate the grain for both domestic and international markets. Additionally, there are smaller millet-producing regions in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh.

Read Also: Zero Defect and Zero Effect (ZED) Scheme

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