GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Issues relating to Poverty and Hunger
Context: At the inaugural edition of the global conference on millets, the PM of India spoke about how millets, considered to be “high-fibre foods”, are effective for health.
- Based on India’s proposal, the year 2023 was declared the International Year of Millets (IYM) by the UNGA.
- In order to make the IYM 2023 a ‘people’s movement’ and position India as the ‘global hub for millets’, all stakeholders are being engaged to spread awareness about the benefits of millets (Shree Anna) for the –
- Consumer and
- The organisation of the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference in India is an important programme in this context.
- It was organised by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
PM’s address at the Conference:
- As Shree Anna is linked with Gaon as well as Garib (Village and the poor), it is becoming a medium of holistic development in India.
- Shree Anna –
- A door to prosperity for the small farmers of the country.
- The cornerstone of nutrition for crores of countrymen.
- Felicitation of the Adivasi community.
- Getting more crops for less water.
- A big foundation for chemical-free farming and a huge help in fighting climate change.
Consistent efforts of the Indian government to turn Shree Anna into a global movement:
- Millets were declared nutri-cereals in 2018 → making the farmers aware of its benefits, and generating interest in the market.
- Millets have been selected in 19 districts of the country under the ‘One District, One Product’ scheme.
- The National Food Security Mission (NFSM) as NFSM-Coarse Cereals and implemented in 14 States.
- In 2021, the PM POSHAN (earlier known as the mid-day meal scheme) was approved to include millet to enhance the nutritional outcome.
- India is planning to launch a global initiative – Millet International Initiative for Research and Awareness (MIIRA), to encourage the consumption and production of millets.
Impact of these initiatives:
- Consumption/month/person from 3 to 14 kgs today.
- The sale of millet food products was boosted by roughly 30%.
There is a growing divergence in the relationship between poverty and hunger in India. The shrinking of social expenditure by the government is forcing the poor to spend more on non-food essential items squeezing their food budget – Elucidate. (UPSC 2019)