The brand ambassador of Odisha Millet Mission at the G20 leaders’ summit who met the First Ladies and spouses of G20 member countries on Saturday has thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the opportunity she got.
Subhasha Mahanta- a millet farmer from Mayurbhanj district’s Singarpur village of Odisha, while talking to ANI expressed her happiness as she got the chance to promote millet at the global stage of the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
“I am very happy to meet G20’s first spouses. I am associated with the Odisha Millet Mission, I cultivate millet. I greeted the foreign guests, they accepted my greeting, and they asked about my well-being and the cultivation of millet. They took information from me about Ragi. 21 types of Ragi we gifted to foreign guests,” she said.
The First Ladies and spouses of G20 member countries experienced the agricultural prowess of India first-hand, in a one-of-a-kind exhibition organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Campus in Pusa in the national capital.
The event featured a range of captivating components, such as a millet-focused live cooking session led by celebrity chefs Kunal Kapur, Anahita Dhondy, and Ajay Chopra, as well as a display of cutting-edge agricultural technology from prominent Indian startups, interaction with Indian women agri-champions at the ‘Agri-Street’.
Spouses of G20 heads of state had a brief pitstop at the ‘Rangoli Area’, which featured two massive ‘Millet Rangolis’.
Subhasha also extended her gratitude to PM Modi.
“I thank everyone; I met, the President, the Prime Minister and our CM Naveen Patnaik. The village people and farmers in our Mayurbhanj are very happy to see me on TV. They are feeling very happy and they are saying that if we too will do the same and cooperate in the cultivation of millet, then the name of our Orissa Mayurbhanj will be famous. I do farming on 8 acres of land, I do not have my own farming, I do farming by taking land on lease. I have started millet farming since 2019. I thank the PM for this opportunity,” she added.
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 the proposal of India was supported by 72 countries.
Millet is a common term for categorizing small-seeded grasses that are often called Nutri-cereals. Most of the states in India grow one or more millet crop species. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana are the major millets producing states.
Talking about her journey as a millet farmer, she said, “I had started the cultivation of millet alone, later I got encouragement to do it further to promote farming, I cultivate 9 varieties of millet in 8 acres of land. There is not much profit in paddy cultivation. I am encouraging the farmers to cultivate millets. The government is giving incentives for millet farming. Because the farmers cultivate millets very rarely, I also tell them about how the government is encouraging them to give them information about it.”
As many as 15 spouses of G20 leaders including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s wife, Yoko Kishida, on Saturday visited the 1,200-acre PUSA-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) campus — the seat of India’s Green Revolution — and saw the Indian agriculture and enjoyed the farm-to-fork millet experience.
U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty and World Bank President Ajay Banga’s wife Ritu Banga were among the delegation of first ladies and spouses of G20 leaders who visited the IARI campus here in the national capital. They were received by Kyoko Jaishankar, the wife of India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. (ANI)