As against a target of 43,500 hectares under millet cultivation for 2012-13, the Agriculture Department has thus far achieved 27,500 hectares.
Majority of the area is under Cholam, followed by maize.
According to S. Lakshmiraj, Joint Director of Agriculture, Coimbatore, the department plans to boost the area under millet in the January cultivation season to reach the target.
The Department will initiate the programme under the ‘Initiative for Nutritional Security Through Intensive Millet Promotion’ scheme.
The State Government has allocated Rs. 70.76 lakh for the purpose.
He says that the Department has trained and been training farmers at various levels on the cultivation aspects, millets’ nutritional levels and value addition from millet products.
The Department was implementing it in all the blocks in the district.
The Department has been promoting farmers’ clusters by bringing together 15 – 20 farmers in a cluster. In each village it planned to have two or three such clusters.
It will then train the farmers’ groups at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and then supply critical agricultural inputs – seeds, fertilizers, bio fertilizers, and chemicals.
The objective was to increase the area under millet cultivation in a phased manner.
The over all objective was to increase millet cultivation among people to meet their nutritional needs.