Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, along with Rajbir Singh, Managing Director, NAFED, commemorated the launch of the first of its kind ‘Millets Experience Centre (MEC)’ at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi today. NAFED in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) established the Millets Experience Centre with an aim to raise awareness on Millets and encourage its adoption among general public.
Acting upon India’s proposal supported by 72 countries, the United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYM 2023). The declaration positioned India at the forefront of the celebrations and the Government of India has been working on ‘mission mode’ to champion millets as a crop good for farmer, environment and consumer.
The ministry-led initiative of establishing a consumer-oriented ‘Millets Experience Centre’ would not only promote the dietary benefits of the ancient grain, but also popularize millets or Shree Anna as a nutritional powerhouse fit for cooking a variety of dishes like Millets dosa, Millets pasta etc. In addition to a unique dining experience, customers can also purchase a variety of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products from local millet start-ups at the MEC.
In his inaugural address, Tomar praised India’s celebration of IYM 2023. The setting up of the MEC is a step in that direction, he added. Situated in the heart of Delhi, Dilli Haat is a national & cultural hub for visitors from all around the world, the MEC will further help the global outreach of the local millets and provide visitors a chance to witness India’s ‘Millet Movement’, he said.
Tomar also highlighted that the year-long celebrations for millets will entail myriad activities aimed at creating awareness around the environmental, health and economic benefits of millet farming.
Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, also highlighted the government-led initiatives for mainstreaming millets. Speaking about the collaboration of NAFED and MoA&FW, he said that ventures like the Millets Experience Centre would help widen the horizon for consumers who are actively looking for healthier alternatives and bring visibility to India’s robust millet-based start-up community. He also added that more such Millet Experience Centres are likely to open across Delhi and other states very soon through partnership with retail chains, hotels and F&B industry.