CM inaugurates National Convention on Millets-2023
By Our Staff Reporter
Mussoorie, 12 Apr: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami inaugurated the ‘Capacity and Opportunity’ National Convention organised under Millets-2023 at a hotel, here, today. Welcoming the guests from different states, he expressed the hope that the brainstorming done by the experts in this conference would prove effective in making the International Millet Year a big success.
The Chief Minister said that, on the one hand, millets are useful for the farmers because of their low cost efficiency, on the other hand, being full of nutrients, they are very essential for the human beings in the changing environment. Such events would not only help in the promotion of millets, but also encourage greater cultivation of coarse grains in Uttarakhand.
Dhami added that it was a matter of great pride that it was after India’s proposal and serious efforts, that the United Nations declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. Coarse grains are cultivated in abundance in many states of India but, earlier, farmers were not getting fair prices for them. Now the picture is changing. The reason for this is the changing attitude of the people towards millets. Today, many startups have also started in the country regarding millets, which are not only benefiting the farmers but also providing employment to the people. That’s why the Prime Minister has given it the name of Shri Anna. At the same time, the responsibility of achieving the targets becomes equally important.
Dhami said that food is becoming the medium of overall development in India, in which villages and the poor are involved and now every citizen of the country is also getting involved. Food is the door to the prosperity for the small farmers of the country. The grains are the foundation of providing nutrition for crores of people of the country. Promoting coarse grains results in honouring the tribals of the country as they traditionally have grown coarse grains. Chemical free farming is also helpful in dealing with the challenges of climate change. In the year 2018, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country had declared coarse grains as “nutritional grains”. Along with making people and farmers aware about its cultivation, the central government and the state government have worked together to run a special campaign to generate greater interest for coarse grains in the market.
The Chief Minister reminded that the state government is working to encourage farmers through government schemes to encourage the cultivation of millets in the hills. Coarse grains like Mandua (Finger Millet), Jhangora (Barnyard Millet), Chaulai (Amaranthus) are being procured from the farmers in the hills through the Cooperative Department and the Uttarakhand Agricultural Marketing Board at the minimum support price (MSP). Every year, the Cooperative and Marketing Board, by operating purchase centres in the hills, is purchasing Mandua, Jhangora, etc., from the farmers from their villages or from places near the villages. Online payment is being made to the farmers in their accounts. This has resulted in larger cultivation of coarse grains in the state. According to the climate of Uttarakhand, it is very important to encourage the cultivation of millets, so that the state can get top position in millet production and become a partner in the economic development of the country. The Chief Minister called upon the people of the state to use more millet products at folk festivals and festivals.
Agriculture Minister Ganesh Joshi said that this National Conference on Millets is being organised by the National Council of Agricultural Marketing Boards. Today, a new awareness has been created in the whole world regarding coarse grains. Reflecting the far-reaching thinking of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there is a lot of enthusiasm among people in India. Millet festivals have been organised twice in the state under the guidance of the Chief Minister. Millets are being promoted and farmers are being encouraged by organising various conferences and seminars. The government has fixed the minimum support price of Mandua at Rs 35.78 under millets and it is also being distributed to ration card holders through the public distribution system (PDS). The Agriculture Minister said that, in the month of May, several programmes will be organised to promote millets in Dehradun and Haldwani. A target has been set to double millet production by 2025.
On this occasion Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel, Vice Chairman of National Council of Agricultural Marketing Boards (Kausamba) and Goa Mandi Parishad President Prakash Shankar, Assam Mandi Parishad President Manoj Baruh, Haryana Mandi Parishad President Aditya Devi Lal Chautala, Kausamba MD Dr JS Yadav, MD of Uttarakhand Mandi Parishad, Ashish Bhatgai and experts from different states were present.