Rama Krishna Sangem
Telangana Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy on September 23, Friday, said that India can become a world leader in millet production and capture global market in future. He was addressing a national conference on millets organised by the Indian Institute of Millet Research (IIMR), Hyderabad, at HICC Grounds in the city. “We must encourage production of millets as well as its consumption,” said Reddy.
The minister said that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has been promoting agriculture on a top priority besides encouraging farmers go for crop diversity. “In the last eight years, KCR government has taken steps to provide irrigation and other facilities to farmers so that our food production has grown phenomenally. We are witnessing record production of paddy and other crops. This rainy season, our cultivation area went up to 1.45 crore acres” said he.
Nirajan Reddy said that the Centre had declared 2023 as Year of Millets in the country. “This is in tune with the United Nation’s call in 2015 for promoting millets. “If we can implement right policies for more production and encourage food processing units, India can soon emerge as a global leader and capture world market,” said the minister. At the same time, we must encourage people to consume more millet based food.
Niranjan Reddy said Telangana is in forefront of encouraging farmers to go for crop diversification. “We are asking our farmers to grow horticulture, pulses and oil seeds etc, instead of just focusing on paddy. To increase the cultivation area of millets, we need to set up more research center to help farmers. This should happen in a coordinated fashion,” said the agriculture minister.
The minister also suggested that there should be a comprehensive policy to offer minimum support prices like other crops for millets too. “Only then, our farmers would go for millet cultivation on a large scale. If we can produce more millets and export to other countries, then, it would be beneficial to both the farmers and our country’s foreign exchange,” said Niranjan Reddy
On the occasion, Asifabad additional collector Chahat Bajpai received the award that came to Telangana for promoting millets through ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services). National Rainfed Area Development Authority CEO Ashok Dalwai, Union agriculture joint secretary Shobha Thakur, Telangana additional agriculture secretary Hanmanth and other officials were present.