The Centre is promoting cultivation of millets like ragi and jowar on a mission mode to achieve nutritional security, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said.
Millets, also called ‘nutri cereals’, are being procured at the support price and also being included under midday meal scheme and public distribution system (PDS), he said.
Addressing MPs in a consultative committee meeting here, Singh said the government has also decided to declare 2018 as ‘National Year of Millets.’
Efforts are being made to promote cultivation of millets to achieve nutritional security because acreage has declined to 14.72 million hectares in 2016-17 crop year from 36.90 million hectares in 1965-66, he said. Millet cultivation has declined due to change in consumption pattern, dietary habits, unavailability of millets, low yield, less demand and conversion of irrigated area for growing rice and wheat, he added.
“As a result of this, level of nutrients like protein, Vitamin-A, iron and iodine fell in women and children.”This has led to a special focus on millets, which are being promoted under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) following recommendations by a committee headed by NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand.
Production of millets will definitely help in providing nutritional value, especially to the poor, he said.
Source : Business line
Published on: March 28, 2018