Nirmala Sitharaman announces 'Millet Challenge' for startups
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on August 27 announced 'Millet Challenge' for startups engaged in coarse cereals.
IMPORTANT FACTS -
- Nirmala Sitharaman also announced Rs 25 crore funding for the University of Agricultural Sciences at Raichur, Karnataka under NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development).
This amount will be used for value addition and capacity building to promote coarse cereals and for setting up of incubation centers for coarse cereals value chain and processing.
She attended the Millet conclave 2022 which was held at the agricultural university, Raichur, Karnataka.
What is the 'Millet Challenge' for startups ?
NITI Aayog will soon announce this challenge for startups related to coarse cereals.
In this, any startup providing solutions in innovative ways will be able to participate.
The names of the winners will be announced before December.
A basic grant of Rs 1 crore each will be given to three winners, Rs 20 lakh each to 15 selected candidates and Rs 10 lakh each to other 15 selected candidates.
The Union Finance Minister asked the major millet processing companies to focus on Karnataka to make the state a brand in this sector.
About Millets :
Millets are high nutrient cereal crops and are classified as small seeded grasses.
They include jowar (sorghum), ragi (finger millet), korra (foxtail millet), arke (kodo millet), sama (little millet), bajra (pearl millet), chena/barr (proso millet) and sanwa (barnyard millet).
India is one of the major producers of millets in the world with an estimated share of about 41% in the global production.
Major producers of millets are Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.
Millet has been notified as a nutritional cereal by the government in April 2018.
They are a rich source of protein, fiber, minerals, iron, and calcium and have a low glycemic index.
The production of millets in India has increased by 16 % to 17.26 million tonnes (MT) in the 2019-20 crop year (July-June) from 14.5 MT in 2015-16.
In March 2021, India led a UN General Assembly resolution to declare 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
India's proposal was supported by 72 countries.
India is the 5th largest exporter of Millets globally.
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