In an attempt to promote millets as a ‘nutrient-cereal’ and increase its consumption among people, the Department of Agriculture is planning to augment its yield and also carry out promotional activities to generate demand at project cost of Rs, 64 lakh.

To encourage cultivation of the crop, kits containing inputs like seeds, plant protection materials, micro nutrient mixtures, bio-fertilisers, potash and bio-control agents will be distributed free to farmers spread over select-blocks of Avinashi, Kangayam, Palladam, Pongalur, Tirupur, Kundadam, Moolanur and Uthukuli.

The inputs will be given to meet the requirements only up to a maximum of two hectares per farmer.

“We are going to bring about 2,000 ha under the crop this season with focus on raising Sorghum variety of the millet. The millets are richer in nutrients than wheat and paddy,” Joint Director of Agriculture Mohammed Kalimullah Sherif told The Hindu .

Demonstration plots

For dissemination of latest farm practices, demonstration plots will be set up widely across the selected blocks.

“Farmers will also be taken out on exposure visits to either Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University or agriculture research stations so as to help them directly observe the cultivation and post-harvest techniques,” Mr. Sherif said.

Food ‘mela’

As part of promotional activities to increase the consumption of nutrient-rich millet, the agriculture department will be holding food melas to display value-added edible items that were made of millet varieties and also conduct seminars.