Karnataka would host here in mid-January an international trade fair on millets to boost their production and promote their consumption across the country, said state Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda on Monday.
"The three-day trade fair will be held on January 19-21 in the Bengaluru Palace Grounds to popularise millets and offer expertise to the stakeholders in the emerging area for national food security," Gowda told reports at a preview of the "International Trade Fair - Organics and Millets 2018" here.
Millets are the grain crops that are used as fodder and for human consumption. The crop is capable of giving high productivity, with a short growing season and capability to grow in dry regions.
Hailed as a miracle crop, millets were once a large part of Indian farms and diets.
The fair-cum-expo would offer an integrated platform for farmers, sellers, exporters, organic product processors and farm equipment makers to showcase their products and expertise in the emerging food space.
"Our government's organics and millets call is being answered by farmers across the country. Overlooked since the 'Green Revolution' of the 1960s, these forgotten food grains are on the comeback because of their superior nutritional profile and as they are drought resistant," said Gowda.
For the past four years, one of the main missions of the state Agriculture Department was advocating the incorporation of millets in everyday diet as a solution for most health ailments, he said.
The state Agriculture Department held three roadshows in Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi in October to revive interest of the stakeholders for growing millets as an alternative food crop.
"Karnataka is a pioneer in production and marketing of millet and its products in the country. Its cultivation area has increased to 40 lakh hectares of farm land from 18 lakh hectares across the state during the last two years," said Gowda.
About 250 outlets across Bengaluru sell smart foods made of millet and organic inputs.
"The Indian government has appealed to the United Nations to declare an International Year of millet and an International Day for millet worldwide," said Gowda.
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