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Celebrating the International Year of Millets: Nurturing Sustainable Food Systems

The 2023 International Year of Millets is a global initiative by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations aimed to raise awareness about the nutritional and environmental benefits of incorporating millets into our daily lives.

What are Millets?

Millets are a group of small-seeded grasses that are highly resilient to drought and require minimal water and inputs to grow, making them an ideal crop in arid and semi-arid regions. They are a staple crop in many regions, particularly in Asia and Africa, and are known for their resilience and adaptability to various climatic conditions. By consuming them, we can reduce the water footprint of our diets and mitigate the impact of climate change.

Millets come in a range of varieties, including pearl millet, finger millet, foxtail millet, and sorghum, among others. These grains are highly nutritious, gluten-free, and rich in fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.

The #IYM2023 Global Chefs Challenge!

This Year of Millets, the Chefs Manifesto is inviting participants to the #IYM2023 Global Chefs Challenge. The challenge emphasizes the versatility and culinary potential of millets. Chefs from around the world come together to showcase their creativity and expertise by incorporating millets into their signature dishes.

You can join the global community by sharing videos of your favorite millet recipes on Instagram and you might even get the chance to be featured in the prestigious IYM Global Recipe Book!

Get inspired by the Magnificent Millets Recipe Collection.

How Can you Participate?

  • Engage your families and communities in conversations about the power of millet to promote a healthy population and planet.
  • Showcase the versatility of millet in your menus, whether it’s in restaurants, hospitals, or schools, and demonstrate how easily it can be included.
  • Support smallholder farmers and sustainable agriculture by buying millet directly from them, especially from women and youth. By doing so, you can make a positive impact on rural livelihoods and combat the challenges posed by a changing climate.
  • Go a step further and forge partnerships with millet farmers, committing to purchasing their future harvests to minimize their investment risks.

Overall, the Year of Millets, in conjunction with the #IYM2023 Global Chefs Challenge, offers a platform to raise awareness, celebrate culinary diversity, promote healthy eating habits, and support sustainable food systems. By recognizing the immense potential of millets, we can contribute to a more resilient and inclusive future for global cuisine and agriculture.

Robynne Anderson

Robynne has extensive experience in the agriculture and food sector, working throughout the value chain – from basic inputs to farmers in the field to the grocery store shelf. She works internationally in the sector, including speaking at the United Nations on agriculture and food issues, and representing the International Agri-Food Network at the UN.Throughout her career she has worked with farm organisations like the Prairie Oat Growers Association, the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi and the Himalayan Farmers Association, as well as global groups, to further the voice of agriculture in the food debate. She has also worked with Fortune 500 companies growing worldwide businesses to assist them with issues management and strategy decisions.

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