India

With millet on the menu, WFP and NITI Aayog join hands to bolster climate resilience and food security

New Delhi - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and NITI Aayog, a government thinktank, will work together on strengthening climate resilience and food security by tapping into climate-resilient millet.

A Statement of Intent was signed between Bishow Parajuli, WFP India Representative and Country Director, and Dr. Neelam Patel, Senior Adviser, Agriculture & Allied Sectors, NITI Aayog, on 20 December in New Delhi.

The initiative is aligned with India's global commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in support of the United Nations General Assembly resolution that promotes diversified, balanced and healthy diets through the sustainable production and consumption of climate-resilient and nutritious millet. The resolution has led to the declaration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets.

"Climate change and food insecurity are two of the most serious challenges we face today. WFP's global experience, coupled with NITI Aayog's mandate of inclusive development, which echoes the principle of 'leaving no one behind', will help strengthen the livelihoods and food security of smallholder farmers, particularly women. WFP has been working with Odisha Millet Mission and we look forward to its replication nationally and globally," said Parajuli.

"India needs to gradually diversify from water-intensive crops like wheat and rice to crops like millet that consume less water to grow and are resilient to climate change. This partnership will also contribute to improved production, increasing farmer's income through sustainable practices," said Mr. Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog.

Under the partnership, WFP and NITI Aayog will support the documentation of good practices on mainstreaming millet and provide technical support to state governments and other institutions including the Indian Institute of Millets Research.

"Through the partnership, learnings and experiences could contribute to our global advocacy around the benefits of millets in the run-up to the International Year of Millets 2023," said Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.

National consultations will also be organized over the next three years to bring together line ministries, state departments, academic institutions working on mainstreaming millet. The country's expertise in millet and climate-smart agriculture will also be leveraged through various knowledge platforms.

About UN WFP:

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world's largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

About NITI Aayog:

National Institution for Transforming India, better known as NITI Aayog, was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on 1 January 2015. NITI Aayog is the premier policy think tank of the Government of India, providing directional and policy inputs.

Contact

Parvinder Singh | parvinder.singh@wfp.org +91 9999241701