Empowering Farmers through Knowledge

Revolutionizing Agriculture: Nairobi to Host Game-Changing Millet Conference – A Global Gathering You Can’t Afford to Miss!

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is set to become the host of the prestigious ‘India-Africa International Millet Conference,’ organized jointly by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of India and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development of Kenya. This remarkable conference, scheduled for 30-31 August 2023, aims to celebrate the International Year of Millets and gather government leaders, researchers, farmers, entrepreneurs, and industry associations from around the world. With the support of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), this event promises to shed light on the immense potential of millets as a sustainable and nutritious food source.

Raising Public Awareness about Millets:

The Indian and Kenyan governments intend to leverage the international conference to raise public awareness about millets, highlighting their significance as the “world’s emerging smart food.” Millets are nutritionally rich, containing high levels of essential minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc. Moreover, these climate-friendly crops exhibit drought-resistance and pest-resilience, making them ideal for enhancing income opportunities and improving livelihoods for smallholder farmers, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. By promoting millets, the conference aims to showcase their immense health benefits and potential for sustainable agricultural practices.

Curtain Raiser Event:

The curtain raiser event, held recently in Nairobi, provided attendees with a glimpse of what to expect at the conference. Distinguished guests included the High Commissioner of India to Kenya, Joint Secretary (Crops) from the Government of India, the Principal Secretary from the Government of Kenya, and the Director-General of ICRISAT. Notably, representatives from Kenya’s agricultural sector, members of the diplomatic community, international agricultural research leaders, farmers, and private sector representatives were also present, highlighting the significance and broad support for the upcoming conference.

Agenda and Strategies:

During the curtain raiser event, Dr. Jacqueline Hughes, Director-General of ICRISAT, presented an overview of the conference’s agenda. She emphasized the importance of strengthening the value chains of millets to ensure robust consumer demand, ultimately benefiting farmers with profitable markets. Ms. Shubha Thakur, Joint Secretary (Crops) from the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, highlighted how the conference would serve as a platform for actionable strategies, joint ventures, collaborations, and technology transfer among key stakeholders. She noted India’s commitment to sustainable agricultural practices and the commercial viability of millet cultivation, especially after the United Nations General Assembly declared 2023 as the ‘International Year of Millets.’

Addressing Global Challenges:

HE Namgya Khampa, the High Commissioner of India to Kenya, emphasized the crucial role of millets in addressing issues of malnutrition and global hunger. He underscored the importance of South-South cooperation in agriculture, stating that collaboration between countries of the global South is essential for maintaining food sufficiency. Mr. Phillip Kello Harsama, Principal Secretary for Agriculture in the Government of Kenya, further emphasized the economic advancements that millets offer to smallholder farmers.

The India-Africa International Millet Conference in Nairobi is set to be an instrumental gathering, bringing together stakeholders from around the world to discuss and promote the immense potential of millets. With its focus on sustainable agricultural practices, health benefits, and economic empowerment of farmers, this conference is expected to pave the way for transformative developments in the millet industry. As the world celebrates the International Year of Millets, Nairobi will serve as a hub for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and the promotion of millets as a smart and sustainable food choice for a healthier future.

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