Feb. 26, 2023
Unique, flavoured millet-based food preparations, knowledge session on millet crops and their role in nutrition and food security against the background of climate change, interactions with the tribal farmers and seed-savers were some of the key takeaways for 350 participants at the Pune Millets Festival organised on February 26, 2023 by the Department of Agriculture, ISKCON, Pune and BAIF as a part of the United Nations declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. The Festival aimed at creating awareness and ushering in the goodness of millets into the palates of the general public. The festival was inaugurated by Mr Vikas Patil, Director – Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra in the presence of Mr. Sanat Kumar Das, Director, Govardhan Rural Development (Govardhan Eco Village) and Mr. Pramod Takawale, Programme Director, BAIF.
Mr. Sanjay Patil, Chief Thematic Programme Executive, BAIF, introduced the participants to BAIF’s work on Millet diversity in Maharashtra, its role in promotion and conservation of millets through community-led initiatives, traditional knowledge of tribal communities and research and extension activity undertaken in tribal clusters of Maharashtra. Grassroot millet conservators from various tribal clusters were felicitated on this occasion. Nutritional qualities of millets were discussed by Dr. Archana Thombre, Medical Officer, YASHADA while Ms. Meghna Shukla, renowned recipe writer, demonstrated simple but delectable millet-based recipes. Such festivals with collaborative effort will facilitate efforts to take millet diversity to the masses and in turn, ensure its conservation and value.