Thursday, May 27, 2010

MILLETS-FUTURE FOOD CROPS OF INDIA

Ever since the thrust on food production in India gained momentum, interest on traditional crops such as Finger Millet, Barnyard Millet, Foxtail Millet and Koda Millet received apathy both from policy makers, producers, processors and consumers.  As a result the area under such millets not only decreased considerably but in many  states,  they even vanished from the shop shelves and remain  no more the choice of housewife  in the kitchen.  In this regard in a chance meeting with Dr. Nagaraj in CBTMPCS office gave an impetus to my idea of popularizing the God given millets for the general good of the community.  It is in this context with the help of Dr. Nagaraj, I met Dr. Channabyre Gowda, Project Coordinator (small millets).  My meeting with him at about 3-45 pm not only blossomed my hopes but gave fillip to boost the production and consumption of millets.  I see the possibility of increasing the production because of the following reasons:
  • can be grown on marginal lands 
  • highly nutritious
  • need less water
  • the fodder is good for cattle. 
  • ecologically safe due to absence of any use of chemicals during the production process
  • the cost of cultivation when compared to paddy would be very low and economically viable

Further the millets have dietary fibre apart from being very nutritious.  Hence could be advocated to all age groups.  These grains will hence reduce the cost on health management.  Therefore I found urgent need to popularize the production and consumption of millets.  In this regard I received overwhelming support from Dr. Channabyregowda and as well Dr. Nagaraj.  Today being the day of Buddha Poornima we took pledge to take initiatives to build the network on the lines of Rotary to popularize these millets on the global scale by creating opportunities of its availability using modern internet based business options. 

We also discussed about a website exclusively for millets, a blog to share knowledge, to find networking opportunities which are already existing such as Knowledge Management Forum.

To conduct demonstrations etc.,

Have weekly/fortnightly/monthly meetings

Conduct melas, seminars, print literature for creating awareness etc., 

I also remain thankful for providing email id of Dinesh who is also working on millets in Andhra Pradesh.  


At this juncture I leave open the topic to set our objectives: 


Udayakumar Kollimath

Agriculture Marketing Specialist

JSYS, Bangalore 


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