ITC Limited in collaboration with the Department of Post, Ministry of Communication, released a special postal stamp, today in New Delhi. As part of ITC’s Mission Millets initiative commemorating the International Year of Millets, the exclusive postal stamp celebrates the Shree Anna and the nationwide efforts to raise awareness on millets. The exclusive stamp was released today by Kailash Choudhary, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare of India, in the presence of Manju Kumar, Chief Post Master General, Department of Post, Ministry of Communication and S. Sivakumar, Group Head – Agri Business, ITC Limited in New Delhi.
Stamps have globally been a symbol of honor that immortalize people, moments, or movements of great cultural value. The ITC Mission Millets Stamp released by the Department of Post, Ministry of Communication, celebrates Shree Anna and marks a milestone in ITC’s journey to educate, empower and encourage millet farming and consumption in India.
The exclusive ITC Mission Millets postal stamp acknowledges the significant role of farmers and connects sustainable farming to nutritious food products and delicious millet-based recipes and dishes. The representation is a unique sketch illustration that depicts the collective and synergistic effort by ITC’s Agri Business Division, Foods Business Division, and ITC Hotels to not only develop sustainable millet farming but also help consumers acquire a taste for healthy millets.
ITC has developed a range of millet-based products in traditional and modern formats for all meal occasions including ready-to-eat food products, cookies, noodles, vermicelli, choco sticks, snacks, and staples such as Multi Millet Mix and Ragi Flour. ITC Hotels has also crafted and included special millet-based cuisines in their buffets. The stamp captures the journey of millets from the farms to ITC’s food production factories, and ultimately their incorporation into nutritious dishes prepared by chefs from ITC Hotels. The earthy colors combined with the sketch illustration celebrate Shree Anna and its myriad benefits.
The event also witnessed the launch of ITC’s initiative to encourage consumers to become millet advocates through its limited-edition digital collectible stamps. Stamps today are a part of heritage memorabilia with immense collectible value. Through this Digital stamp, ITC is providing an opportunity for consumers to spread awareness of millets through their active participation. Its climate-resilient attributes as well as its nutrient-dense properties can help address micronutrient deficiency in developing countries. The digital collectible stamp also enables consumers to actively pledge their support to adopt millets in their everyday meals and snacks.
ITC is also promoting FPOs in millet farming anchored by ITCMAARS, an integrated ‘phygital’ eco-system that synergizes digital advancements with our century-old farmer engagement. Our Agri-Business has implemented two PPP projects in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), Hyderabad.
During the launch event of Postal Stamp, Kailash Choudhry, Union Minister of State highlighted the actions taken by the Government of India in the Shree Anna promotion, being the largest producer and second largest exporter of millets in the world.
Speaking on the launch, S Sivakumar, Group Head, Agri Business, ITC Limited. said, “Supporting the Government’s focus on mainstreaming millets, ITC has spearheaded a dedicated initiative called ITC Mission Millets which is powered by a 3 pillar strategy. This encompasses the development of a ‘good-for-you’ foods portfolio backed by innovation, and implementation of sustainable farming systems with the creation of a robust millets agri value chain with a special thrust on enhancing value-addition and market linkages. The focus is also on enhancing consumer awareness of the benefits of millets, a nutritionally superior food option. The coveted Postal stamp released in collaboration with India Post reflects ITC’s commitment to enhance awareness and commemorates our collective aspiration to create a larger market for millets.”