Himachal targets covering 4500 hectares of land under millet cultivation

Apropos of the declaration of the Year 2023 as the International Year of Millets by The United Nations, the agriculture department of Himachal Pradesh is making concerted efforts to produce and promote millets.

The thrust remains on providing nutritious food to every individual and supporting farmers in cultivating healthy crops. This initiative addresses the global challenge of ensuring a balanced and nourishing diet for all as a nutritious lunch plate is vital for everyone’s well-being. 

Himachal Pradesh is leading the way in cultivating exceptional nutritional value crops. Kodo millet, Cholayi, Sawa, Kangri, etc are renowned traditional crops that boast of high nutritional content. These crops have become a significant part of the local diet due to their richness in essential nutrients. Recognizing their potential, the state government has taken proactive measures to ensure that the farmers have access to the necessary resources and knowledge to cultivate these crops. 

The agriculture department has been working to provide guidance, training, and access to modern agricultural practices, allowing farmers to maximize their yield while maintaining the nutritional quality of their products and focusing on the growth of nutrition-rich grains like Kutki (Little Millet) and Cheena (Proso millet). 

 To further support the farmers, the state government has constituted a committee that acts as a platform for knowledge-sharing and assistance and plays a crucial role in educating farmers about the cultivation of nutrient-dense crops and on advancements in agrotechnology. This initiative aims to empower farmers and enable them to make informed choices about the crops they grow. 

A target of covering approximately 4500 hectares of land under millet cultivation was fixed for this year and 35000 free-of-cost mini kits will be provided to farmers to boost crop cultivation. Besides, the farmers will be provided an 80 percent subsidy for millet seeds production.

The State government’s initiatives underscore its dedication to the welfare of its farmers and to enhance the immunity-boosting properties and nutritional value of crops by adopting organic practices.

A state-level work team of technical officers and farmers has been constituted to encourage the production of millets through awareness thus benefitting small-scale farmers by promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

Farmers will receive guidance, training, and access to proper market channels enabling them to connect directly with consumers and obtain fair prices for their crops. The government aims to create a conducive environment that encourages sustainable farming practices while ensuring farmers receive the recognition and compensation they deserve.

The state government will prepare a database of millet district-wise identification along with the local and scientific names based on millets that are conducive to the state’s climate with the support of experts and different agencies.

The concerted efforts of the government and agriculture department reflect Himachal Pradesh’s commitment to promoting nutrition and supporting its farming community. These endeavors are expected to create a positive impact on the health and well-being of the region’s residents, as well as contribute to the overall development of the state.

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