Telangana Minister for Agriculture S. Niranjan Reddy has suggested agriculture scientists to encourage farmers to take up cultivation of food crops keeping in mind the changing consumption patterns and market demand.
Speaking at the National Nutri-Cereal Convention 4.0 jointly organised by the Nutrihub and ICAR- Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) here on Friday, he said Telangana was known for production of various millets but due to lack of demand in the market the extent had come down drastically during the last 3-4 decades. However, the importance of millets in diet was on the rise again and the country had the opportunity to attract the world market by expanding the extent of minor millets.
The number of food processing units making various food products from minor millets had gone up across the country in recent years as the demand for such production was on the sharp rise, the Minister said adding that the Centre had already announced 2023 as the year of millets. He felt that there was need for support price mechanism and to improve the productivity of millets to encourage farmers take up their cultivation.
He also suggested the Centre to include supply of millets as part of the public distribution system so that the demand for them within the country was up. He mentioned that the State Government was already encouraging millets by including them in the diet supplied through ICDS programmes.
Additional Collector of Kumram Bheem-Asifabad Chahat Bajpai received the award for popularising millets through ICDS programmes.
Chief Executive Office of National Rainfed Area Authority Ashok Dalwai, Joint Secretary (Crops and Oilseeds) in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shubha Thakur, Additional Director General of ICAR R.K. Singh, IIMR Director C.V. Ratnavathi, IIMR Nutrihub CEO B. Dayakar Rao and others spoke.