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India's millet diplomacy aimed at addressing regional food crisis

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh said that the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) has been transformed into a distinct "international legal personality", adding that India's Millet diplomacy has the potential to solve food crisis among the member nations.

"I am very happy to see BIMSTEC's transformations from a grouping of countries into a full-fledged regional organization focused on broad region around the Bay of Bengal. Today, BIMSTEC has a distinct international legal personality," he said while inaugurating the two-day BIMSTEC meet, which is marking its 25th anniversary at the opening session of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

"This is the Year of the Millet and our Prime Minister has given much importance to it. This is a climate-resilient crop and its nutrition value is very high. Let us hope that food deficiency by way of cultivation and popularization of millet can be addressed," he added.

"It grows in all geographic conditions and needs less water. So let us promote it and see how far it goes to solve the problem of food security," he said while addressing the inaugural session of the two-day BIMSTEC meet marking its 25th Anniversary.

Terming Kolkata as "strategically one of the most prominent cities of India" and for promotion of "East and Act East policy", he stressed that Kolkata should be the prime area and the regional head to lead the Act East policy.

BIMSTEC comprises of 7 member states (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand) which are littoral to, or dependent upon the Bay of Bengal. During the last BIMSTEC Summit hosted by Sri Lanka, Leaders adopted and signed the BIMSTEC Charter completing its evolution into a full-fledged regional organization with a distinct international legal personality.

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