PM Modi spurs increased focus on millet production, exports
BENGALURU, Sep 2 (The CONNECT) - With India becoming a food surplus country, the Indian farmer needs affordable machinery and technologies to expand production and come up with value-added products with export potential, said Shobha Karandlaje, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, at the 7th International Exhibition and Conference EIMA Agrimach India 2022.
Shobha, accompanied by Murugesh R Nirani, Minister of Large and Medium Industries, and Muniratna, Minister for Horticulture and Planning & Statistics, Government of Karnataka, inaugurated the three-day conference cum exhibition in Benguluru yesterday.
MoS Karandlaje encouraged equipment manufacturers and technology developers to manufacture food processing machinery to check the rampant wastage of agriculture and horticulture produce in the absence of value addition.
She said that instead of wasting, the food could be exported to nations with limited food production avenues.
"What the country needs now is affordable and quality food processing, agri-marketing and agri-export avenues," she said.
With 2023 being the 'International Year Of Millets', India could step up exports as the country is among the leading producers of millets, she pointed out.
the government will focus on increasing the cultivation area, production and productivity of millets. The area of bajra cultivation which is currently 9.80 lakh hectares in 2022, will be increased 10.19 lakh hectares.Productivity will be increased from the current 24.55 quintal/hectare to 25.53 q/ht.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Government said it aims to increase the area of jowar cultivation from the current 2.15 lakh hectares to 2.24 lakh hectares. In the same way, the area, production and productivity of kodo and sanva will be also increased.
To boost the production of millets, the government is planning to organise cluster demonstrations, area expansion through common seed distribution and free seed minikit distribution.
Millets are most suited for water deficit and drought conditions. They consume at least 70 percent less water than other crops and require minimum inputs and almost no pesticides. For farmers, millets are low-risk crops resilient to climate change. So, the government plans to promote the cultivation of nutritious cereals in rainfed areas.