Assam government launches millet mission to double the income of state farmers

Tags: Economy/Finance Government Schemes State News

Assam Millet Mission

The Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on 16 November 2022 launched the “Assam Millet Mission” aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and doubling the farmer’s income. The mission also aims at encouraging the farmers to diversify their crops. .

Along with the Millet mission the Chief Minister also launched six soil testing and quality control laboratories Bongaigaon, morigaon,Golaghat, Udalgiri,Karimganj and Darrang.

Initially the millet mission will cover 25,000 hectares of land and later it will be extended to 50,000 hectares.

Millets or coarse cereals or nutri cereals 

  • Millet is one of the oldest known foods to humans. However its consumption in the world has declined due to the emphasis given to wheat and rice by the governments. 
  • It is also called coarse cereals or nutri cereals due to its high nutritive value. 
  • Nutri-cereals refers to a group of crops comprising sorghum (Jowar), pearl millet (Bajra), finger millet (Ragi/Mandua), and small millets like little millet (Kutki), kodo millet (Kodo), barnyard millet (Sawa/Jhangora), foxtail millet (Kangni/Kakun), and proso millet (Cheena).
  • They are called a superfood as they  are rich in nutrients such as copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. They are low on glycemic index. 

Millets and India 

  • According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) , India is the largest producer of millet in the world followed by Niger and China .
  • The total production of millets in India in 2020-21 was 17.96 million tonnes which was nearly 41% of the world production.
  • Rajasthan was the largest millet producing state in India.
  • Millets are grown in about 21 states in the country including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana.
  • India was the 5th largest exporter of millet in the world in 2020 according to the Union ministry of Commerce data.

International Year of Millets 2023

  • To highlight the importance of millets, India proposed in the United Nations to declare 2023 as the International Year of the Millets.
  •  The proposal was accepted and passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2021 and 2023 was declared as the International Year of Millets.

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