The central government has approved 2018 as the ‘National Year of Millets’ to boost the agricultural industry and the production of Millets in the country. Union minister Sadananda Gowda addressing the organics & Millets 2018 international trade fair in Bangalore said, “The central government has approved 2018 as the year of the millets to encourage its production and boost the sunrise agricultural industry. We did it on Karnataka agriculture minister Krishne Byre Gowda’s request.”
Decisions like these surely have a positive impact on the agricultural industry as a whole because of late, there have been many regions in the country facing drought-like situations, unexpected hailstorms, unseasonal rains, which contribute to diminishing returns for the farmers. The farmers then are bound to suffer losses and also in many situations choose the drastic step of ending their lives, which does not bode well for the country which is known to employ 60% of it’s population to the farming sector.
What is being done?
To address the farmers issues, the government for many years now has been framing new policies on a frequent basis, providing credit facilities, introducing MSP (minimum support price), but even after all of this, there has been no substantial ground covered, when the talk is of the issue of farmers distress.
The latest initiative by the government, to declare 2018 as the National Year of Millets, brings with it a lot of potential and promise.
As the current scenario stands, the majority of the farmers are cultivating the cash crops like rice, wheat because they offer them higher returns on their investments. On the contrary, there are many risks vis-a-vis cultivating these crops, due to the uneven climatic conditions, the problem of unfertilized soil, expenditure on fertilizers with no guarantee of good returns.
The Silver Lining
There is definitely a solution to the above-mentioned problems of the farmers and it’s none other than – Millets.
Millets are the crop to cultivate because of the numerous benefits they have to offer for the farmers, consumers and also the planet.
Moreover, many companies are showing an active interest in promoting Millets by introducing healthy Millets-made products.
Britannia Industries Limited Managing Director Varun Berry says the company currently produces roughly 110 tonnes of biscuits in India. “We expect to expand the Health Biscuit category by introducing millet lines and other grain-based lines.”
Millets have been the superfood of India in India’s yesteryears, but it is hoped that by the approval of 2018 as the national year of Millets, there will be many takers for adopting Millets in their daily diets, and give a boost to the country’s farmers on the economic front.With the help of the efforts made by the government, the adoption of Millets by the consumers, and the increased growth of Millets farming by the farmers would go a long way in re-establishing Millets as the Superfood of India once again.