Guyana’s President Dr Irfaan Ali has offered 200 acres of land in Guyana to India for cultivation and production of millets for the private sector after UN declared 2023 as the International Year of Millet (IYOM).
The Guyanese President made the offer in a meeting with India’s Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
“During the meeting, he asked the Indian Minister to send a team of experts to set up millets farm in Guyana and promised all help in production and promotion of millets in the Caribbean and Latin American countries,” said the Agriculture Ministry said.
Ali also requested for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence at the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in February 2023 to present India’s vision on agriculture and food security. “A virtual address by PM Modi to 17 heads of states will go a long way in promoting and popularizing millets in the Carribean community,” he said.
He also extended an invitation to the Agriculture Minister to visit Guyana and deliver a lecture on agriculture and millets as chief guest in CARICOM Agri forum scheduled in August, 2023.
Tomar said that the International Year of Millets 2023 will provide an opportunity to increase global production, efficient processing and better use of crop rotation. “It will promote millet as a major component of the food basket.”
The Minister added that UN declared 2023 as IYOM on the initiative of PM Modi. “The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is working in mission mode to increase millet production and consumption in collaboration with other central ministries, all state governments and other stakeholder organizations.” He said that millets provide an alternative food system in times of increasing demand for vegetarian foods as it contributes to a balanced diet as well as a safe environment and described them as the gifts of nature to mankind.
“Asia and Africa are the major production and consumption centers of millet crops, particularly India, Niger, Sudan and Nigeria are the major producer of millet and it his earnest desire to see that Millets should take pride of place in every eating plate in the globe.” Millets were the first crops to be cultivated in Asia and Africa, later spreading as an important food source for advanced civilizations around the world.