Two-day Millet Mahotsav Organised At Agra
Agra, March 5 (TNA) A two-day Millet Mahotsav was organised by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries at Agra, Uttar Pradesh, from 3-4 March, 2023. The event was inaugurated by Minister of State for Law & Justice, Prof. SP Singh Baghel. Several dignitaries, including Additional Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Minhaj Alam, were also present on the occasion.
Baghel referred to the International Year of Millets as the time for Krishi Antyodaya (Upliftment of Farmers). He said that Millets is often perceived to be associated with a poverty-based lifestyle, and there is a need to create awareness to change this perception.
The Minister, who is also Member of Parliament from Agra, expressed his gratitude towards the Ministry of Food Processing Industries for the initiative of Millet Mahotsav and for selecting Agra as one of the districts to conduct the event.
The States hosting the events include Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Punjab, Kerala, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, West Bengal, and Jharkhand.
Uttar Pradesh is the largest producer of food grains in India and accounted for about 18.89% share (58.32 million MT) in the country’s total food grain output in 2020-21. In the year 2019-20, the state of Uttar Pradesh produced 21,71,836.00 MT millet.
The different varieties of millets mainly produced in Uttar Pradesh include Sorghum, Pearl Millet, Kodo and Barnyard Millet. In the Agra district, the millet varieties produced mainly include Sorghum and Pearl Millet. In the year 2019-20, Agra produced 99 MT of Sorghum and 2,93,964 MT of Pearl Millet.
Minhaj Alam, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries informed the gathering that the government is organizing Millet Mahotsav in 20 States and 30 Districts across the country and these districts represent key regions engaged in the processing of Millets. He enlightened the participants about the aim and salient features of Millet Mahotsav and the importance of a holistic approach to Millet processing.
He emphasized on the various qualities of Millets like minimal water requirement and adaptability according to the terrain, that makes Millets a suitable alternative to commercially grown crops.