Millet Mission: Chhattisgarh launches new mission to become millet hub of India by 2023

The Millet Mission has been launched to increase the yield of millets like Kodo, Kutki and Ragi in the view of increasing demand in both India and abroad. The crops are rich in nutrition and are sold at good prices in urban areas. 

Chhattisgarh launches Millet Mission
Chhattisgarh launches Millet Mission

Millet Mission: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel launched 'Millet Mission' on September 10, 2021 to make the state millet hub of the country by 2023.

The Chhattisgarh CM while addressing a programme in Raipur said that the Millet Mission has been undertaken to give the farmers the right price for small cereal crops and provide input assistance, procurement arrangements and processing so that it can benefit them.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed for the same between the Chhattisgarh CM, Indian Institute of Millet Research (IIMR), Hyderabad and the Collectors of 14 districts of the state including Dantewada, Bastar, Sukma, Balrampur, Kondagaon, Kanker, Bijapur, Kawardha, Narayanpur, Rajnandgaon, Koriya, Surajpur, Jashpur, Kawardha and Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi. 

Key Highlights 

  • Under the MoU, IIMR of Hyderabad will provide support and guidance to increase productivity of Kodo-Kutki and Ragi crops and technical skills as well as the availability of high-quality seeds. It will also provide support towards the establishment of the seed bank in Chhattisgarh.
  • The state will also impart training to the millet farmers through Krishi Vigyan Kendra to enable usage of scientific technology developed by IIMR Hyderabad at the national level related to millet production by IIMR Hyderabad at the field level.
  • The state government will coordinate posting of IIMR specialists in the selected districts to guide the farmers to increase the production of millets. The state will also appoint a senior consultant who will act as a master trainer. 
  • The state will also set up seed banks for small grain crops in three districts of Bastar, Surguja, Kawardha and Rajnandgaon.
  • The farmers growing Kodo-Kutki and Ragi crops would be given input assistance of Rs 9000 per acre and Rs 10,000 per acre for growing millets instead of paddy crops.

Why has Millet Mission been launched?

The Millet Mission has been launched to increase the yield of millets like Kodo, Kutki and Ragi in the view of increasing demand in both India and abroad. The crops are rich in nutrition and are sold at good prices in urban areas. 

Presently, the cereal crops are mostly grown in Vananchal and the support price of these crops are not fixed and there is no arrangement for its purchase. So, despite growing such an important and valuable crop, the farmers who grow it remain poor. 

The Millet Mission aims to not only increase the income of the farmers of Vananchal and tribal areas, but also give a new identity to the state of Chhattisgarh. The processing of millets will also provide employment to farmers and various youth and women's groups in the state. 

Overall, the Kodo, Kutki, Ragi crops are produced in around 20 districts of the state, 14 of which have signed the MoU in the first phase of the mission's implementation. The state will sign the MoU with more districts in the next phase. 

Under Millet Mission, the state will ensure good procurement arrangements and take the crops to the city markets after processing. The state will also fix a support price for the crops and include them under the purview of Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana. With this, the farmers growing these cereal crops will be able to get input assistance like other farmers.

International Year of Millet 

Chhattisgarh aims to become successful in making a mark as the Millet Hub in the country by 2023, the International Year of Millet. The 193-member UNGA declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, adopting the India-sponsored resolution that was supported by over 70 countries in March 2021. The main aim behind the observance is to direct policy attention to the health and nutritional benefits of millets.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Council of the United Nations had also accepted India’s proposal to observe the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets during its 160th session in Rome in December 2018. The designation aims to enhance global awareness to bring back nutri-cereals to the plate for food and nutrition security thereby, increasing their production for resilience to challenges posed by climate change.

India had before this observed 2018 as the National Year of Millets for promoting cultivation and consumption of these nutri-cereals.






What are Millets?

Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, which are widely grown across the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Millets consists of Jowar, Bajra, Ragi and minor millets, which are together termed as nutri-cereals. Those who have gluten-related disorders or allergies and need a gluten-free diet, can replace their gluten-containing cereals with millet.

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