International food fest in Delhi: The second edition of World Food India is set to be organised by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries in the first week of November 2023. The venue for the event to be held during November 3-5 is Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
A curtain raiser event was held here this week, where Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Pashupati Kumar Paras, Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jal Shakti Prahlad Singh Patel, launched the website, publicity brochure and promotional video. Minister Paras emphasised that India is one of the fastest-growing economies with many investment opportunities, especially in the food processing sector.
He outlined five pivotal elements of the WFI-2023 as Millets- `Shree Anna-The Super Food of India`, Innovation and Sustainability `Green Food`, and White Revolution 2.0, making India an export hub and focus on technology and digitisation. He said that during the three-day event, the government expects leading players in the food processing sector from across the globe to showcase their strengths.
Minister Patel said that with the experience of the previous edition in 2017, the government is looking forward to WFI-2023 as a flagship global event. He said that the various government initiatives including the PLI schemes in the food processing industry are enhancing the marketing and branding and the government is proud of standardising the quality parameters.
Notably, the International Year of Millets 2023 officially kicked off on January 1, 2023, and much of the focus will be on millets at the WFI 2023. The government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi spearheaded the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution for declaring the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets and India`s proposal was supported by 72 countries. UNGA announced 2023 as the International Year of Millets back in March 2021.
India is a global leader in the production of millet with an area of about 12.5 million hectares and a share of more than 15 per cent of the world`s total production. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana are the major millets producing states.
What are millets? Millet is a common term for categorizing small-seeded grasses that are often called Nutri-cereals. Some of them are sorghum (jowar), pearl millet (bajra), finger millet (ragi), little millet (kutki), foxtail millet (kakun), proso millet (cheena), barnyard millet (sawa), and kodo millet (kodon).
Millets are now being promoted as `Super food`.Most importantly, millet production is not dependent on the use of chemical fertilizers.