Kerala to distribute ragi through ration shops

Pilot phase to cover one ration shop each in every panchayat

Published - January 11, 2023 08:52 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

The government will distribute ragi through ration shops to replace the quota of wheat that was stopped by the Centre. Food and Civil Supplies Minister G.R. Anil said here on Wednesday that the ragi sourced from Karnataka would be sold as 1-kg packets through PDS outlets.

Presiding over a State-level Vigilance meeting, the Minister said the ragi would be distributed through one ration shop each in every panchayat in the pilot phase to ascertain the acceptability of the millet by the general public in Kerala, so used to rice and wheat as staple.

However, it will be sold through more outlets in Idukki, Wayanad and Palakkad where tribal communities have a tradition of consuming millets.

“Supplyco officials who initially inspected the ragi stocks at the FCI godown in Karnataka had reported poor quality. It took a second inspection to identify 687 metric tonnes of good quality ragi”, Mr.Anil said, adding that the government had asked the Centre to restore the State’s quota of wheat.

The Minister also said the government was working on a programme to promote the use of millets and the traditional dietary habits of tribal communities as a healthy alternative. A millet food festival would be organised for the purpose.

Supplyco Chairman and Managing Director Sanjeev Patjoshi said the State was suffering loss to the tune of crores due to poor packing of foodgrains sourced from FCI godowns. “The use of hooks by headload workers and repacking of leaking bags leads to a significant loss of foodgrains,” he pointed out.

The FCI representative told the meeting that the corporation was planning to use smart bags to reduce loss due to leakage and damage.

Mr. Anil also said the government would soon roll out a project to grade hotels.

Minister for Ports Ahamed Devarkovil, Rajya Sabha Member John Brittas, MLAs K.P. Mohanan, Ramachandran Kadannapally and Mons Joseph, and senior officials participated.

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