Millet International Initiative for Research and Awareness (MIIRA)

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    • India plans to propose a global initiative called “MIIRA” or Millet International Initiative for Research and Awareness for global coordination of millet research programs.

    About

    • The millet research programs will coordinate millet research programmes at the international level.
    • India’s plan to launch MIIRA is in line with the United Nations declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
    • For MIIRA to take off, India will contribute the “seed money” while each G20 member will later have to contribute to its budget in the form of a membership fee.
    • The Indian Institute of Millet Research in Hyderabad will be supported as the Center of Excellence for sharing best practices, research, and technologies at the international level.
    • The Indian Institute of Millet Research in Hyderabad will be supported as the Center of Excellence for sharing best practices, research, and technologies at the international level.
    • MIIRA’s secretariat will be in Delhi. 

    Millets

    • These are small-grained cereals that require less water than rice and wheat and are mainly grown in rainfed areas.
    • Major millet crops: sorghum (jowar), pearl millet (bajra), foxtail millet (kangni/Italian millet), and finger millet (ragi/mandua).
    • According to the Ministry of Agriculture, bajra, jowar, and ragi accounts for nealry 7% of the gross cropped area in India making millets the “Nutri Cereals’ ‘.
    • India is the largest producer of millet in the world. 
    • It Accounts for 20 % of global production and 80 % of Asia’s production. India, Nigeria and China are the largest producers of millets in the world, accounting for more than 55% of the global production.

    Steps taken towards promoting millets

    • The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on the MyGov platform has launched various competitions to raise awareness of the benefits of millets.
    • In 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture declared millets and the two pseudo millets — buckwheat (kuttu) and amaranth (chaulai) — as ‘Nutri Cereals’ for their “high nutritive value”.

    Source: IE