MSSRF is organising a three-day Dialogue on Millets, Monsoon and Market begining April 15, 2018 in partnership with regional and international organisations. The Interdisciplinary Dialogue on Millets will be attended by leading researchers, policy makers, local practitioners and private sector who will share lessons learnt and debate on the way forward within the framework of Conservation, Cultivation, Consumption and Commerce of Millets.
Minor millets have traditionally been cultivated in the drylands, predominantly by poor and marginal farmers and in many cases by tribal communities. Growing interest to revive millet cultivation is driven by nutrition, health and resilience considerations. These cereals grow well in drylands and at high temperatures; they have been supporting millions of vulnerable and marginalized women and men farmers struggling with poor soil, low moisture and scarce external inputs. Their hardiness and good nutritional profile are important assets for adapting to climate change. Considering the importance of millets, the Government of India along with other country Governments has urged the UN to declare 2018 as the ‘International Year of Millets’. Greater consumption of millets would be a bold contribution towards both food and nutrition security in many countries, and helping us towards achieving the Zero Hunger Goal. In this context, there is a need for a collective sharing of lessons and coordinated actions on the promotion of these species, to better conserve their diversity (in situ/on farm and ex situ), increase their productivity, double the income of local farmers, empower vulnerable groups through use enhancement activities and ultimately contribute to ending hunger in the region.