The State Government’s Anna Bhagya is an opportunity to usher in a new cropping pattern in favour of a millet-based traditional food system. But there is little action on the ground to indicate that any such initiative was taken by the authorities, according to votaries of organic farming.

Krishnaprasad, an organic farmer of Sahaja Samruddha, pointed out that provision of food at subsidised rates for below poverty line families was an excellent idea. But it should be backed by encouragement for millet cultivation as it was a complete and more wholesome food that required very little water.

However, the government has done nothing to usher in reforms, he said.

There is growing dismay over the State’s apparent contentment with content procuring rice from Chattisgarh. There should be a shift towards millet-based dietary patterns, and this scheme can be the opportunity to introduce such changes. The Department of Agriculture should have launched ‘grow millet’ campaign to sustain the demand for millet but it has not done much, is the general refrain of the farmers. Similarly, there is a perception that Dasara should be used as a platform to popularise traditional culinary delights based on millets and red rice.

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