Seven-day SCO Millets Food Festival begins in Mumbai

Apr 15: Union Minister of State for Tourism Shripad Naik inaugurated a Millets Food Festival of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai on Thursday. The public can savour a variety of cuisines made of different millets prepared by chefs from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan, Russia and India for lunch and dinner at Shamiana Restaurant at the hotel till April 19.

The seven-day festival is being organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace to commemorate the International Year of Millets (IYM 2023). The food festival features various organic meals made with millet that have been hand-selected by the SCO Member Chefs.

Speaking at the inauguration, minister Shripad Naik said that the SCO countries had an exceptional mix of cultures and traditions, which are aptly reflected in their cuisines. “The cuisines of the SCO countries will offer unique delights to food lovers. The United Nations declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets with a motto of increasing the production and consumption of millets worldwide. The idea behind it is to promote millets as they are climate resilient,” he said and added that millet consumption can help the world meet at least six UN-mandated sustainable development goals. This is a smart move towards sustainable development, he said.

Spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Government of India sponsored the proposal for IYM 2023 which was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly. The declaration has been instrumental for India to be at the forefront of celebrating the IYM. The Prime Minister has also shared his vision to make IYM 2023 a ‘People’s Movement’ alongside positioning India as the ‘Global Hub for Millets’, the minister said.

He also congratulated Kazakhstan for the next SCO Presidency and assured that India would continue its efforts to make tourism a successful sector in the SCO region.

While India is hosting the Presidency of the SCO for the year 2023, the Millet Food Festival is the fourth and last event being organised by the Ministry of Tourism to celebrate the Presidency. Earlier, the ministry had organised an SCO Tourism Mart from 9th to 11th February, an SCO Expert Level Tourism Working Group Meeting and an SCO Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in Kashi, Varanasi, from 13th to 18th March.

The SCO is an intergovernmental organization comprising eight member states – China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, four Observer States and 14 Dialogue Partners.

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