Millets Conclave at Raichur

CM address the Millets Conclave at Raichur
CM address the Millets Conclave at Raichur

The United Nations General Assembly has declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets, with 72 countries supporting India’s proposal at the initiative of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. To commemorate this, the University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur and NABARD organized a two-day Millets Conclave in collaboration with the Agriculture and allied departments. During the conclave, issues related to nutritious cereal production and value addition were discussed with the farmers, FPOs, entrepreneurs, Agri-Startups, investors, exporters, agricultural scientists, NABARD and lead banks and agricultural development departments. On this occasion, the Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman announced several awards including three first prizes of one crore rupees each as an incentive to Agri Startups participating in the Millets Innovation Challenge, while the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that the time has come to give Millets a respectable place in the plate of food not only in India but across the world. “We have to bring forth the importance of nutritious grains to the world,” he said.

Smt. Sitharaman said that the relevance of the deliberations held for two days in the Conclave regarding the Millets would come out soon. Promotion of millets will not only meet the food requirements, but will also give an opportunity to new startups to bring their products to the world. This will increase employment opportunities, especially women can be engaged in work from millet production to processing. Today, India is the major producer of millets in the world, with Karnataka being a major contributor. Millet production is beneficial to the farmers. It requires very less water, can be produced even on rocky land. Under the Millet Innovation Challenge, the Finance Minister gave one crore rupees each to Agri Startups for their distinctive contribution. Besides, awards of Rs.20 lakh each will be given to 15 Agri Startups and Rs.10 lakh each to 15 other Agri Startups. She also announced a fund of Rs 25 crore to the University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur from NABARD for millet research.

The Union Agriculture Minister Shri Tomar said that many schemes have been created under the leadership of the Prime Minister, whose benefits are being given to the farmers across the country. Whenever the Prime Minister announces a scheme, the Finance Minister works meticulously for its implementation. In the budget, she always strives for betterment in every sector of agriculture including agricultural education & research and increasing the farmers’ income. Prime Minister Modi wants that the farmers cost of cultivation should come down, they should have adequate technology support, they can take advantage of schemes like micro irrigation. Farmers are also getting huge benefit of PM’s increase of MSP to one-and-a-half times the cost. With a view to increase the power of small farmers, 10,000 new FPOs are being created by spending Rs 6,865 crore. These will enable the small farmers to come together and become a big force, they will be able to move towards costly crops and integrated farming. Steps have also been taken in this direction so that farmers can easily get loans through FPOs and they can also process their produce.

Shri Tomar said that schemes like the PM Fasal Bima Yojana are being run, through which 1.18 lakh crore rupees are being given to farmers in lieu of crop losses. To promote farming in rural areas, Rs 1.5 lakh crore has been allocated for agriculture and allied sectors. More provisions have been made, the results of which are also coming to the fore. Projects worth Rs. 14,000 crores have been so far funded from the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund worth one lakh crore rupees which will prove to be very helpful for the farmers in villages. A positive effort is being made to increase the contribution of agriculture in the prosperity of farmers and the development of the country day by day. Shri Tomar lauded the Chief Minister Shri Bommai for successfully running other schemes including agriculture sector in Karnataka and said that Karnataka is moving ahead, being the first in the country to digitize the agriculture sector as a whole, in a transparent manner. To increase the nutritive-cereal area in the state, the Raha Siri Yojana has been launched for the expansion of millet area while the farmer will get Rs 10,000 from DBT. The state government is providing Rs. 10 lakh at 50% subsidy for setting up millet processing machinery. Shri Tomar urged to promote millets in the country and the world, saying that millets are ancient crops, which are also mentioned in the verses of the Indian text – Yajurveda, while the unique work of poet Kalidas ‘Abhigyan Shakuntalam’ also describes millets. Shri Tomar said that in the past there was a Green Revolution in view of the immediate conditions of the country and as a result of many decisions, the production of wheat and rice increased. Today there is sufficient availability of food grains in the country, now we have to move towards millets again.

Shri Tomar appreciated that Agri Startups have also done a great job in increasing the processing of millets. Now the time has come to give Millet a respectable place in the food platter of not only India but of the world. The whole world should understand the importance of millets and increase its production-productivity, as well as make many products from it, which can also be exported. India will take the lead in celebrating 2023 as the International Year of Millets, preparations are going on in full swing. Praising the Prime Minister’s vision in this regard, he said that just as Shri Modi established Yoga Day in the world after becoming the PM, he knows how to promote Millets in the world.

Appreciating the contribution of the Raichur University in promoting Agriculture, Chief Minister Shri Bommai said that the benefits of research of agricultural scientists should reach the fields. He urged the government to publish the findings of the conclave in the form of a report at the earliest. He talked about the area under millets cultivation in the state and assured all possible steps to promote it further. The Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ms. Shobha Karandlaje and the Agriculture Minister of Karnataka, Shri B.C. Patil also addressed the conclave. The Minister in charge of Raichur district, Shri Shankar B. Patil Munenkoppa and Raichur city MLA Dr. S. Shivraj Patil, Mayor and DMD of NABARD Shri PVS. Suryakumar, Vice Chancellor Dr. K.N. Kattimani were present in the program. An exhibition related to nutritious cereals was organized on this occasion, which was inaugurated by the dignitaries.


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