AIR Discussions (January 2nd Week)
INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF MILLE T 2023: POSITIONING INDIA AS THE GLOBAL HUB FOR MILLET
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- Millets have been an integral part of our diet for centuries. In addition to a plethora of health benefits, millets are also good for the environment with low water & input requirement.
- With the aim to create awareness and increase the production & consumption of millets, United Nations, at the behest of the Government of India, declared 2023 the International Year Millets.
- Millets are cereal crops with high nutritive value and are categorized as small-seeded grasses.
- Millets are widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Millets are small-grained, annual, warm-weather cereals belonging to the grass family. They are highly tolerant of drought and other extreme weather conditions and have a similar nutrient content to other major cereals.
- The key varieties of millet include Sorghum, Pearl Millet, Ragi, Small Millet, Foxtail Millet, Barnyard Millet, Kodo Millet and others.
- High in dietary fiber, Nutri-cereals are a powerhouse of nutrients including iron, folate, calcium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, vitamins and antioxidants.
Distribution of Millet:
- Millets were among the first crops to be domesticated. There is evidence of the consumption of millets by the Indus valley people (3,000 BC), and several varieties that are now grown around the world were first cultivated in India. West Africa, China, and Japan are home to indigenous varieties of the crop.
- Millets are important crops in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially in India, Mali, Nigeria, and Niger), with 97% of millet production in developing countries.
- Millets are now grown in more than 130 countries and are the traditional food for more than half a billion people in Asia and Africa. They require much less water than rice and wheat and are mainly grown in rainfed areas.
- In India, millets are mainly a Kharif crop. Major producers include Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.
Year of Millets:
- On March 3, 2021, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution to declare 2023 as the International Year of Millets. The proposal was moved by India, and was supported by 72 countries.
- Several events and activities, including conferences and field activities, and the issuing of stamps and coins, are expected as part of the celebrations aimed at spreading awareness about millets, inspiring stakeholders to improve production and quality, and attracting investments.
Millets under PDS:
- Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, eligible households are entitled to get rice, wheat, and coarse grain at Rs 3, Rs 2, and Re 1 per kg respectively. While the Act does not mention millets, coarse grains are included in the definition of “foodgrains” under Section 2(5) of the NFSA.
- However, the quantity of coarse grains procured for the Central Pool and distributed under the NFSA has been negligible.
- The push to distribute coarse grains under the PDS has not gained momentum. The Centre has accepted the recommendation of a committee set up by it, that millets be included in the PDS in order to improve nutritional support.
MSP for millets:
- The government declares a Minimum Support Price(MSP) for jawar, bajra, and ragi only.
Main millets state:
- Jowar is mainly grown in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, and Madhya Pradesh. In 2020-21, the area under jowar stood at 4.24 million hectares, while production was 4.78 million tonnes. Maharashtra accounted for the largest area (1.94 mn ha) and production (1.76 million tonnes) of jowar during 2020-21.
- Bajra is mainly grown in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Of the total 7.75 mn ha under bajra in 2020-21, the highest (4.32 mn ha) was in Rajasthan. The state also produced the most bajra in the country (4.53 million tonnes of the total 10.86 million tonnes) in 2020-21.
- Millet is grown mainly in low-income and developing countries in Asia and Africa, and are part of the food basket of about 60 crore people across the globe.
- By proposing the resolution to celebrate 2023 as the International Year of Millets, India pitched itself as a leader of this group. This is similar to the Indian initiative on the 121-nation International Solar Alliance.
Importance of millets for Environment and Climate Change:
- Millets are known for their climate-resilient features including adaptation to a wide range of ecological conditions, less irrigational requirements, better growth and productivity in low nutrient input conditions, less reliance on synthetic fertilizers, and minimum vulnerability to environmental stresses
- Millets can counter many of the adverse effects of climate change better than most other food crops. They grow in almost any type of soil – sandy or with varying levels of acidity. They hardly need any fertilizers or irrigation.
- The inter-cropping of millets with other crops is especially beneficial because the fibrous roots of millet plants help in improving soil quality, keep water run-off in check and aid soil conservation in erosion-prone areas, thereby restoring natural ecosystems.
- They can withstand extreme temperatures, floods and droughts. Being a C4 group of cereals, millets convert more carbon dioxide to oxygen, contributing in mitigating climate change through their low carbon footprint of the 3,218-kilogram equivalent of carbon dioxide per hectare, as compared to wheat and rice, with 3,968kg and 3,401kg, respectively, on the same measure.
- Thus, millets can help to phase out climatic uncertainties, reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide, and can contribute in mitigating climate change.
Biofuel and Climate Resilience:
- Recently, the deadline for achieving 20% ethanol blending with petrol has been set for 2025 - a measure aimed at the reduction of carbon emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels.
- Most bioethanol in India is produced using sugar molasses and maize. However, a study conducted among farmers in Madhya Pradesh showed that bio-ethanol can be created using sorghum (jowar) and pearl millet (bajra), and that this fuel could bring down carbon emissions by about half.
- Millets also offer a significant cost advantage over maizeas a feedstock for bio-ethanol production. Estimates also suggest that millets can deliver greater returns than maize, while using 40% less energy in processing.
Agrarian Importance of Millets for Farmers:
- Drylands constitute 40% of the global land surface and are home for about 1/3rd of the global population.
- These low fertile soils are predicted to elevate up to 50–56% in 2100 AD, and 78% of dry land expansion is expected to occur in developing countries.
- Increasingly erratic rainfall patterns and crop losses due to climate change factors has affected farmers tremendously.
- The spate of farmer’s suicides in an agriculture-based country like India has reached to an average of 52 deaths/day, and reports of farmers selling their blood to earn a livelihood in drought-hit region of the country depict the severity of the agrarian crisis.
- There is a lesser possibility of increasing the production of major staple cereals as the world is already facing the challenges of an increase in dry lands and a deepening of groundwater level.
- According to the report of the National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA)even after realizing the full irrigation potential, about half of the net sown area will continue to remain rainfed. This alarms the need of shifting to the alternative of current cereal staples.
- The need of the hour is to adapt to climate change by switching from water-intensive rice, sugarcane and maize cultivation to various types of drought-resistant millet
- Millets cultivation can be a solution to this problem as these can grow on shallow, low fertile soils with a pH of soil ranging from acidic 4.5 to basic soils with a pH of 8.0.Millets can be a good alternative to wheat, especially on acidic soils.
- Unlike rice and wheat which require many inputs in terms of fertilizer and water, millets grow well in dry regions as rain-fed crops.
- Therefore, boosting millet cultivation will empower the average farmer and achieve the objectives of enhancing incomes and improving crop diversification.
Challenges with Millet Cultivation in India:
- No market to sell millet crops: In some village areas farmers are not getting do not get a market to sell their crops. To sell crops in bulk they have to locate certain small shops since there is no profitable market or demand nearby. This also makes the distribution of crops difficult.
- Low bulk prices of Millet in India and high MRP: Farmers get low pay for millet which urges them to lower millet production and grow other crops instead to earn a better income. However, since the MRP for millets is high, the public usually prefers buying other cheaper grains instead.
- Government schemes and efforts are unable to reach the farmers: All schemes and plan benefits are limited to the big cities, due to which farmers are not at all aware of the programs.
- Low crop productivity and high labor intensity: Cultivating millets requires strong manual labor and is difficult for a single person to do. Added to this is the fact that certain millets turn out to be low in productivity.
- Difficult post-harvest operations and to these problems.
- Easy availability of other grains: such as rice due to a good network of the Public Distribution System gives tough competition for the demand of millet in India. This causes grains such as rice to be established as the staple food in a region.
- Lack of know-how on ways to use small millets in the daily diet/staple diet across the country is widespread.
- Lack of investment in millet product development and promotion/ advertisements.
- Improper suitable processing units close to millet fields: cause local producers to take their produce to distant places. For example, raw grains of Kodo millets produced in Tamil Nadu, need to be transported to Maharashtra for processing.
Measures being taken to promote Millet: A multi-pronged strategy:
- The APEDA is also working in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to increase the cultivation area, production and productivity of millets, including bajra, jowar and ragi.
Millets as Nutricereals
- In view of the nutritional value of the millets, the government has notified millets as nutri-cereals in April, 2018.The millets are a rich source of protein, fibre, minerals, iron, calcium and have a low glycemic index.
International Year of Millets
- In March 2021, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
- Intensive Millets Promotion(INSIMP): Launched in 2012 as a part of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana(RKVY), to advance equipment and technology related to millet harvest and increasing productivity of inefficient areas.
Rainfed Area Development Programme
- Developing and identifying new areas receiving adequate rainfall for millet farming as a part of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana(RKVY).
Re-branding of coarse cereals/millets as nutri-cereals.
- Till 2018-19, millet production was extended to over 14 states.
MSP of Nutri-cereals
- Next, the government hiked the MSP of Nutri-cereals, which came as a big price incentive for farmers. As we compare the data on MSPs for food crops from 2014-15 against 2020, we see that the MSP for ragi has jumped a whopping 113 percent, followed by bajra and jowar at 72 percent and 71 percent respectively. MSPs have been calculated so that the farmer is ensured at least a 50 percent return on their cost of production.
National Food Security Mission
- Millets are being promoted under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) to help provide good nutrition to those who are unable to afford it. To provide a steady market for the produce, the government included millets in the public distribution system.
Efforts by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare
- Next, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare is running a Rs 600-crore scheme to increase the area, production and yield of Nutri-cereals.
- With a goal to match the cultivation of Nutri-cereals with local topography and natural resources, the government is encouraging farmers to align their local cropping patterns to India’s diverse 127 agro-climatic zones.
Building Value Chains
- Provision of seed kits and inputs to farmers, building value chains through Farmer Producer Organisations and supporting the marketability of nutri-cerealsare some of the key interventions that have been put in place.
“Millet in Minutes” products:
- Recently APEDA launched a variety of “Millet in Minutes” products under the category of Ready-to-Eat (RTE) such as Upma, Pongal, Khichadi, Noodles, Biryani, etc, This is a breakthrough in the food sector as it’s the first RTE millet product in the market to cater fast-paced world at their convenience in a healthy way. All the millet products launched by APEDA are gluten-free, 100% natural and patented. All the RTE products are vacuum processed without any additives, fillers and preservatives. Nutrition value is retained as original with a shelf-life of 12 months in ambient temperature.
Nutri-Gardens and Behaviour Change Campaign
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development has been working at the intersection of agriculture and nutrition by setting up Nutri-gardens, promoting research on the inter-linkages between crop diversity and dietary diversity and running a behavior change campaign to generate consumer demand for Nutri-cereals.
LetsMilletCampaign in Bengaluru
- In 2018, the #LetsMilletCampaign in Bengaluru saw the avant-garde use of millets in dishes such as risotto and pizza by restaurateurs.
Cultural associations and festivals
- Cultural associations and festivals, such as the North-East Network in Nagaland organized in 2020 and Mandukiya in Vishakhapatnam celebrated annually in June/July, has helped promote the growth of millets.
Integrated Cereals Development Programmes in Coarse Cereals
- The government also initiated the ‘Integrated Cereals Development Programmes in Coarse Cereals’under Macro Management of Agriculture.
Conversion of Fallow Lands
- The government of Tamil Nadu is converting fallow and wastelands into millet farms.
- The government of Orissa is trying to increase the land area for millet production.
Efforts by the Indian Institute of Millet Research
- The Indian Institute of Millet Research, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and the government of Karnataka are going to collaborate along with more partners to promote millets in India.
Other State Govt. efforts
- Apollo hospitals in Hyderabad signed a memorandum of understanding with the Deccan Development Society to incorporate millet in their hospital diets. This is likely to benefit 5,000 women farmers.
- The government of Karnataka, similarly, proposed inclusion millet in school mid-day meal programs.
- The government of Maharashtra has announced subsidies for millets.
- The government of Karnataka is encouraging drought-struck farmers to shift from water-intensive crops to harvesting millets.
Because of initiatives of the government, production of millets increased from 14.52 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 17.96 million tonnes in 2020-21 and the production of Bajra has also increased from 8.07 million tonnes to 10.86 million tonnes during the same period.
Case Study: Dindori Model
An International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has supported an initiative to revive kodo and kutki cultivation in Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh. The project was started in 2013-14, with 1,497 women-farmers from 40 villages — mostly from the Gonda and Baiga tribes — growing these two minor millets on 749 acres. The recognized farmers had been equipped good-quality seeds and skilled by scientists from the Jawaharlal Nehru Agricultural College in Jabalpur and the native Krishi Vigyan Kendra — on subject preparation, line-sowing (versus standard broadcasting by hand) and software of compost, zinc, bavastin fungicide and different particular safety chemical compounds.
Additional, a federation of farmers’ self-help teams undertook procurement of the produce and mechanical de-hulling — the normal guide pounding course of to take away husk from the grain was time-consuming. The variety of farmers rising kodo-kutki has risen to 14,301 in 2019-20. So has the overall acreage to 14,876 acres. The IFAD project thus helped in meeting nutritional goals and reviving millet cultivation.
- India’s major millet exporting countries are U.A.E, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Oman, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, U.K and the U.S.A. The varieties of millets exported by India include Bajra, Ragi, Canary, Jawar, and Buckwheat.
- The major millet-importing countries in the world are Indonesia, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Italy, the U.S.A, the United Kingdom, Brazil and the Netherlands.
- India is one of the leading producers of millet in the world with an estimated share of around 41 percent in the global production.
- As per FAO, world production of millets in the year 2020 was 30.464 million metric tons (MMT) and India’s share was 12.49 MMT, which accounts to 41 percent of the total millet production. India recorded 27 percent growth in millet production in 2021-22 as compared to millet production in the previous year was 15.92 MMT.
- India’s top five millet-producing states are Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The share of export of millet is nearly 1% of the total millet production. Exports of millets from India include mainly whole grain and the export of value-added products of millets from India is negligible.
India exports millets products worth of USD 34.32 million during 2021-22.
Thrust on millets exports coincides with the International Year of Millets (IYoM) to be observed by UN in 2023.
Centre organizing IYoM-2023 at domestic and international level to popularize Indian millets and its value-added products across the world. Indian missions abroad would be roped in branding and publicity of Indian millets.
Nutrition Ambassadors and Entrepreneurs
- Grassroots workers like the Anganwadi and ASHA workers must be further involved as nutrition ambassadors and entrepreneurs in the millet revolution.
Creation of an attractive value chain
Collaborations with schemes like National Rural Livelihoods Mission and focus on the creation of an attractive value chain are needed. Techniques in packaging and processing must precede efforts to target metropolitan cities and urban centers to create more demand. Promotion of processed millet products such as ragi cookies, bajra biscuits, jowar namkeen.
India Millets Mission
- An inclusive rural economy can be built around millets by promoting entrepreneurial ventures through the India Millets Mission. Similarly, initiatives around appropriate pricing must be undertaken.
Training and capacity-building initiatives
- The need of the hour is Dedicated programs with proper training and capacity-building initiatives that urge farmers to move away from loss-making crops toward diversification via millets.
‘Vocal for Local’ campaign
- There is an imported penetration of seeds, whole grains and cereals not native to the Indian geography or cuisine. Quinoa is a prominent example that has seen increasing domination in urban diets. Hence, under the ‘Vocal for Local’ campaign, indigenous crops must be lent more support and focus.
Empower women farmers
- Empower women farmers and self-help groups (SHG), by equipping them with advanced packaging techniques, agro-marketing, financial literacy and other entrepreneurial skills.
Introducing millet cultivation in areas where farmers’ distress is visible
- One way to double farm incomes and encourage farm diversification is to make millet production attractive by introducing millet cultivation in areas where farmers’ distress is visible.
- For instance, the cotton dependency of Vidarbha's farmers and economy is well-known, especially in the arid zones. The region in Maharashtra is also known as the farmer suicide capital.
- Perhaps one of the most important solutions is to encourage cotton farmers to diversify into millet production after careful feasibility studies and feedback from the farmers themselves.
Making India Millet Hub of the World
- Farmer producer organizations (FPOs) can play a key role in making India a millet hub of the world.
- FPOs can not only help in upscaling millet's value chain, connecting to domestic and international markets but also to create an inclusive framework where we take producing communities along.
- There is a need to formalize the unorganized food processing system by providing the FPOs, SHGs (self-help groups) and co-operatives with technical support, credit linkages and ensuring adequate storage capacity to avoid food wastage.
- It is estimated that the millets market is set to grow from its current market value of more than USD 9 billion to over USD 12 billion by 2025.
- The pre-launch of the International Year of Millet-2023 involved stakeholders of the supply chain such as FPOs, Start-ups, exporters, and producers of millet-based value-added products. Besides, buyer-seller meets were organized in the countries of Indonesia, Japan, the United Kingdom, etc to promote Indian millets.
Steps being taken
Food sampling and Testing
- APEDA is organizing food sampling and tasting at the retail level and in key local bazaars of targeted countries where individual and household consumers can gain familiarity with millet products.
- For the promotion of Indian Millets and its value-added products, the center has developed 30 e-Catalogues on each of the targeted countries.
- These Catalogues comprise of information on various Indian Millets and range of their value-added products available for export, list of active exporters, start-ups, FPOs and importer/retail chain/hypermarkets, etc that to be circulated to the Indian Embassy abroad, importers, exporters, start-ups and stakeholders.
Millets Export Promotion Programme
- To promote the shipment of Nutri-cereals, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has already started the Millets Export Promotion Programme. For this, the center has planned to facilitate the participation of exporters, farmers and traders in International Trade Expos.
- As per the government’s robust strategy to promote millets, Indian missions abroad would be roped in branding and publicity of Indian millets, identification of international chefs as well as potential buyers such as departmental stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets for organizing B2B meetings and direct tie-ups.
Millet Promotional Activities
- APEDA has planned to organize millet promotional activities in South Africa, Dubai, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Sydney, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States of America by facilitating the participation of different stakeholders from India in some of the significant food shows, Buyer Seller Meets and Road Shows.
Showcase Millets at Global Platforms
- As part of the promotion of Indian millets, APEDA has planned to showcase millets and its value-added product at various global platforms such as Gulfood 2023, Foodex, Seoul Food & Hotel Show, Saudi Agro Food, Fine Food Show in Sydney (Australia), Belgium’s Food & Beverages Show, Germany’s BioFach and Anuga Food Fair, San Francisco’s Winter Fancy Food Show, etc.
All these efforts have the potential to turn India into the World’s Millet Hub.
- Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), ‘immunity foods’ have gained traction. In this context, micro-nutrient-rich millets are suitable substitutes for reviving our traditional food systems and maintaining ecological harmony with nature.
- Millet cultivation clearly needs state support. The Odisha Millet Mission, for example, has reportedly managed to motivate about 70,000 farmers to take up millet farming as part of this program. Initiatives such as these will encourage millet production and help address micronutrient deficiency and promote concepts like nutrition entrepreneurship.
DEFENCE ACQUISITION COUNCIL
- Defence Acquisition Council approved three proposals worth 4,276 crore rupees to strengthen the country's deterrence and combat readiness.
- DAC was formed pursuant to the recommendations made by the Group of Ministers on Reforming the National Security System in February 2001, after the Kargil War. It is a separate, dedicated structure for Defence Procurement.
- Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) was created as an overarching structure with the defense minister as its chairman.
- The DAC is the highest decision-making body of the defense ministry on procurement.
- The Defence Minister is the chairman of DAC. Its members include the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Its functions include:
- Give in-principle approval of a 15 years Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) for defense forces.
- Accord of acceptance of the necessity to acquisition proposals.
- Categorization of the acquisition proposals relating to ‘Buy’, ‘Buy & Make’ and ‘Make’.
- Look into issues relating to single vendor clearance.
- Take decisions regarding ‘offset’ provisions in respect of acquisition proposals above Rs 300 crore.
- Take decisions regarding the Transfer of Technology under the ‘Buy & Make’ category of acquisition proposals.
- Field trial evaluation.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated the people of Manipur on the opening of Kangla Nongpok Thong – The Eastern Gate of Kangla Fort in Manipur.
- The Kangla Palace, popularly as well as officially known as the Kangla Fort, is an old fortified palace at Imphal in the Manipur.
- It was formerly situated on both sides (western and eastern) of the bank of the Imphal River, now remaining only on the western side in ruined conditions. Kangla means "the prominent part of the dry land" in old Meetei. It was the seat of the past Meeteirulers of Manipur.
- The fort was the traditional seat of the kingly governance that was there from the rule of the legendary God-king Nongda Lauren Pakhangba in 33 A.D to Maharaj Kulachandra in 1891 A.D. Once the home of the Manipuri royals, the fort was soon overrun by the British and later the Assam Rifles.
- The Manipur Government has declared it as a protected area under the provision of “The Manipur Ancient and Historical Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1976.”
'VOICE OF GLOBAL SOUTH SUMMIT'
- India will host a special virtual Summit on 12th and 13th of this month called 'Voice of Global South Summit'.
- The concept of Global North and Global South (or North–South divide in a global context) is used to describe a grouping of countries along socioeconomic and political characteristics.
- The Global South is a term often used to identify regions within Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.
- It is one of a family of terms, including "Third World" and "Periphery", that denote regions outside Europe and North America.
- Most, though not all, of these countries, are low-income and often politically or culturally marginalized.
- Southern states are generally poorer developing countries with younger, more fragile democracies heavily dependent on primary sector exports, and they frequently share a history of past colonialism by Northern states.
Note: The Global North correlates with the Western world—including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Israel (among others). States that are generally seen as part of the Global North tend to be wealthier and less unequal; they are developed countries, which export technologically advanced manufactured products.
South-South Cooperation :
- South–South cooperation(SSC) is a term historically used by policymakers and academics to describe the exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge between developing countries, also known as countries of the Global South.
- The formation of SSC can be traced to the Asian–African Conference that took place in Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955 which is also known as the Bandung Conference.
- The conference was sponsored by India, Pakistan, Ceylon, Burma, and Indonesia and was attended by these 29 independent countries.
- In 1978, the United Nations established the Unit for South–South Cooperation to promote South–South trade and collaboration within its agencies.
India and Voice of Global South Summit:
- India has always been at the forefront and consistently championed the cause of the developing world.
- India has been strongly articulating the interests and concerns of partners in the Global South in all international fora.
- The recent global developments like COVID pandemic and ongoing conflict in Ukraine have severely impacted the developing world across many domains.
- A consultative and outcome-oriented conversation focused on the most pressing concerns, interests and priorities of developing countries is the need of the hour.
- The Summit is India's endeavor to provide a common platform to deliberate on these concerns that affect developing nations.
- India will work to ensure that the valuable inputs generated from partner countries in the Voice of Global South deliberations receive due cognizance globally.
Note: India's ongoing G20 Presidency provides a special and strong opportunity to channelize these inputs into the deliberation and discourse of the G20.
- A magnitude of 7.7 earthquakes struck the Tanimbar region in Indonesia.
Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.
- The Tanimbar Islands, also called Timur Laut, are a group of about 65 islands in the Maluku province of Indonesia.
- Geographically, the northeast islands are still part of the Lesser Sunda Islands.
- The Aru Islands and Kai Islands lie to the northeast, and Babar Island and Timor lie to the west.
- The islands separate the Banda Sea and the Arafura Sea.
- The largest of the group is Yamdena.
- The Tanimbar Islands are part of the Banda Sea Islands' moist deciduous forests ecoregion.