By Our Staff Reporter
Rishikesh, 21 Jan: Health and Education Minister, Dr Dhan Singh Rawat, today emphasised on inclusion of coarse grains in daily diet for better health. He was speaking on the occasion of inauguration of International Year of Millets (IYOM-2023) Mela organised under the aegis of Food Safety and Drug Administration Department at Shishambari here today. The Health and Education Minister said that the government would be promoting cultivation of coarse grains and millets on a large scale in the state. With the increasing demand for millets, new employment opportunities would also be created on one hand and on the other, migration from the hills would also be curbed to some extent. The state government would soon include millets in the mid-day meal of Anganwadi centres and schools, he stressed.
Rawat said that the year 2023 was being celebrated as International Millets Year all over the world on the call of UNO. In which India’s role was very important. On the proposal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UNO had declared the current year as the International Year of Millets. Uttarakhand had been a major centre for the production of coarse grains, so the state’s responsibility increased even more towards increasing the production and promotion of coarse grains. Dr Rawat said that the state government had recently increased the minimum support price from Rs 25 to Rs 35.50 to encourage Mandua (Finger Millet) cultivation in the state. Mandva was being purchased directly from the farmers across the state through State Cooperative Societies under the Cooperative Department, which was also proving helpful in doubling the income of the farmers. Apart from this, the government was also giving special incentives through the Agriculture Department on the production and promotion of coarse cereals like Jhangora (Barnyard millet), Chaulai (Amaranthus), China (Proso Millet), Kuttu (Buckwheat) etc. He appealed to the representatives of various hotels, restaurants and self-help organisations who had ccome to the fair to promote the dishes of coarse grains and appreciated the various dishes of coarse grains prepared by them on the spot.
In the fair, paintings and Rangoli based on coarse grains were displayed by the students from different schools, which was closely observed by the Health Minister Dr Rawat who also rewarded the students for their better performance. In the programme,, Additional Commissioner FDA, Arunendra Singh Chauhan informed about the departmental schemes and said that this was the first millets fair of the year which was sponsored by International Candy Company Centre Fresh and Lemon Tree. He expressed gratitude to the Rotary Club and the sponsoring company, along with the representatives of hotels and restaurants in Dehradun, Rishikesh and various self-help groups and NGOs, for their participation in the fair. Prabhakar Mishra, representative of the sponsoring company, said that he would continue to provide all possible cooperation in the fairs organised by the state government in order to promote coarse cereals. In the Millets Fair, the local people as well as the students relished various dishes made from millets. The program was coordinated by Vinay Dhyani.
District Magistrate Tehri Saurabh Gaharwar, CDO, CMO, Panchayati Raj Officer, Chief Agriculture Officer, AR Cooperative, Deputy Commissioner FDA, Drug Controller, District Food Officer, Vijay Jardhari, the pioneer of Save Seeds movement and students and teachers of various schools were present in the programme.