The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel on Friday launched the ‘Millet Mission’ and said the state will become the millet hub of the country in the future. While addressing a program at his residence office in Raipur, he said that the initiative under Millet Mission has been taken to give the farmers the right price for small cereal crops, provide input assistance, procurement arrangements, and processing so that it can benefit them.
On Friday, he signed the MoU between the Indian Institute of Millet Research (IIMR), Hyderabad and the Collectors of 14 districts of the state including Kanker, Kondagaon, Bastar, Dantewada, Bijapur, Sukma, Narayanpur, Rajnandgaon, Kawardha, Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi, Balrampur, Koriya, Surajpur and Jashpur. According to the MoU, IIMR of Hyderabad will provide support and guidance for increasing the productivity of Kodo, Kutki and Ragi, technical skills, availability of high-quality seeds and establishment of the seed bank in Chhattisgarh.
“Arrangements will be made for training the farmers of Chhattisgarh through Krishi Vigyan Kendra for spreading the scientific technology developed at the national level related to millet production by IIMR Hyderabad at the field level,” further read the MoU. The Managing Director of Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce Co-operative Federation, Sanjay Shukla said, “IIMR specialists will be posted in the districts by the State Government who will guide the farmers to increase the production of millets. A senior consultant will also be appointed at the state level and he will act as a master trainer.”
“Seed banks for small grain crops would be established in Bastar, Surguja, Kawardha and Rajnandgaon,” he added. Under this Millet-Mission, farmers growing Kodo-Kutki and Ragi crops would be given input assistance of Rs.9000 per acre and Rs.10,000 per acre for growing these crops instead of paddy crops.
Appreciating the initiative taken by the state government, the Director of IIMR Dr Vilas A. Tonapi said, “It is a good initiative by the state government to provide input assistance to the farmers engaged in millet production in the state of Chhattisgarh. Now, 2023 will be celebrated as the International Year of Millet and the state will be successful in making a mark as a Millet Hub in the country by 2023.” The chief minister also said that the state will sign this MoU with more districts in the next phase. (ANI)