IIM Jammu in collaboration with ICSSR Hosts Insightful Workshop on Government Initiative: Assessment of Year of Millets 2023

IIM Jammu in collaboration with ICSSR Hosts Insightful Workshop on Government Initiative: Assessment of Year of Millets 2023

Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Jammu, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Social Sciences Research (ICSSR), organized a thought-provoking workshop centered on the "Assessment of Year of Millets 2023 Government Initiative” on 15th Feb 2024 at its Jagti Campus. The event commenced with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp, followed by a warm welcome address by Dr. Kulwinder Kaur, setting the tone for the day's discussions.

This workshop was a pivotal component of the ICSSR-sponsored short-term empirical research project, that delved into the theme of "Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition through Millet Promotion: A study of selected areas of North-west. Dr. Kulwinder Kaur, Project Director and Assistant Professor, IIM Jammu stated that the primary objective of the workshop was to analyse the impact of the Government Initiative on sustainable agriculture and nutrition, and its role in shaping the future of food security and nutrition. 

Prof. B.S. Sahay, Director, IIM Jammu, provided a comprehensive overview of IIM Jammu's initiatives and underscored the strategic leadership of the Hon'ble Prime Minister in emphasizing the importance of millets. He emphasized the significance of shifting dietary patterns towards millets, citing their medicinal, nutritional, and anti-inflammatory properties. He stressed the need to leverage branding and marketing strategies to popularize millets as a superfood and promote its consumption. As a proactive measure, he announced that IIM Jammu promotes increased millet consumption by providing a full-day meal made of millet once a week to students and faculty, promoting a healthier lifestyle on campus. He urged farmers to contribute to this endeavour and join hands in making the new campus of IIM Jammu environmentally friendly. He underlined the profound significance of the workshop and the collaborative efforts aimed at fostering sustainable development in the region. He articulated how initiatives such as the Year of Millets 2023 Government Initiative serve as catalysts for positive change, not only in promoting sustainable agriculture but also in enhancing nutritional security and fostering economic prosperity in the region. He extended an invitation to farmers, academia, and industry stakeholders to collaborate with IIM Jammu in initiatives related to millet marketing, branding, and pricing. He assured support from IIM Jammu in facilitating farmers and entrepreneurs in their endeavours.

Dr. B.N. Tripathi, Vice-Chancellor of SKUAST, delivered a compelling address highlighting the significance of millets in achieving food security and nutrition goals. He shed light on the initiatives undertaken by the Government of India, spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to declare 2023 as the “International Year of Millets” (IYoM). He emphasized the government's efforts to incorporate millets into the public distribution system, aiming to raise awareness about their nutritional benefits along with the inclusion of Millet delicacy in the recently concluded G20 Summit. Drawing attention to inspiring examples, he shared the stories of Raimati Ghiuria, a tribal farmer from Odisha's Koraput district, who has preserved 30 varieties of millets, and Dr. Khader Vali, also known as the Millet Man of India, a Padma Shri awardee renowned for his sustainable agricultural practices. He underscored the importance of reviving millet consumption, emphasizing that millets were widely consumed before the Green Revolution. He urged farmers to collaborate with institutions such as IIM Jammu, ICSSR, and SKUAST to promote millet cultivation and consumption. He emphasized the value of workshops like the one hosted by IIM Jammu, providing a platform for experts to share insights and create a healthy ecosystem for millet promotion.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Vivek Sharma, Chief Innovation Officer, IIM Jammu extended heartfelt gratitude to all participants, speakers, and collaborators for their invaluable contributions to the workshop's success, reaffirming IIM Jammu's commitment to advancing research and fostering sustainable development. The inaugural ceremony culminated with the National Anthem.

The workshop proceeded with insightful sessions by esteemed speakers, including Prof. Vinod Gupta, Professor, Agricutlural Extension Education, SKUAST-Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kumar Sharma, Associate Professor (Agricultural Economics) at SKUAST-Jammu, who presented on "Dynamics of Improving farmers livelihood through millets cultivation," and Dr. Meenakshi, Professor (Agronomy) at SKUAST-Jammu, who assessed the impact of millets cultivation on farmers' prosperity. Ms. Swati Basotra, Founder of Shakti Maa Agriculture and Skills Development Co-op Society Ltd., Jammu, provided valuable insights into consumer perceptions surrounding millets promotion.

The workshop concluded with a stimulating panel discussion and interactive Q&A session, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange among participants.