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Chhattisgarh government's high-tech millet push to double productivity

The state has now set a target to increase the area under millet cultivation from 96,000 hectares to 160,000 hectares during the current kharif year

Millet

R Krishna Das Raipur

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The Chhattisgarh government will promote hi-tech millet farming in 14 districts to double the productivity of the coarse grains in the state.

Aiming to promote millet cultivation, the government has initiated the Millet Mission, facilitated by the Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce Federation, to provide training to farmers, ensure the availability of high-quality seeds, and enhance productivity.

“Fourteen of 33 districts have entered into a tripartite pact with the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) that will assist with technicalities,” a state government spokesperson said.

The objective is to double millet productivity to 9 quintals per acre from 4.5 quintals now, the spokesperson said, adding that Chhattisgarh was emerging as a ‘Millet Hub’ in the country.

The state has received the ‘Poshak Anaj Award 2022’ for its efforts in promoting millet cultivation. There has been a surge in the cultivation of kodo, kutki, and ragi crops thanks to the state’s efforts to encourage millet cultivation, the spokesperson said.

Millet procurement by the Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce (Trading & Development) Co-operative Federation increased to 13,050 tonnes (worth Rs 39.60 crore) in 2022–23 from 5,273 tonnes (worth Rs 16.03 crore) in 2021–22.

The state has now set a target to increase the area under millet cultivation from 96,000 hectares to 160,000 hectares during the current kharif year. Chhattisgarh stands as the sole state in the country where the purchase of kodo, kutki, and ragi is facilitated at support prices, along with their value addition.

The Bhupesh Baghel government has fixed the support price for kodo-kutki at Rs 3,000 per quintal, while that for ragi has been set at Rs 3,377 per quintal. In the previous season, farmers sold 34,298 quintals of millets worth Rs 10.45 crore at the support price.

According to experts, kodo, kutki, and ragi are considered nutritious and abundant in protein and vitamins. Their consumption can be beneficial for diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. These grains also hold importance in the culinary and dietary traditions of the tribal cultures of the Surguja and Bastar regions of Chhattisgarh.

The government has incorporated millet production into the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan NYAY Yojna to enhance its cultivation in the state. Millet-producing farmers are also getting an input subsidy of Rs 9,000 per acre.

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First Published: Jun 23 2023 | 11:01 PM IST

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