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Fair to promote millets as alternative to rice, wheat

Bengaluru, DH News Service, Apr 21 2017, 0:52 IST
Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda helps himself to bisi bele bath made of millets at an event organised in Bengaluru on Thursday to announce the 'Organics and Millets 2017 - National Trade Fair' that will be held from April 28 to 30 in the city. DH Photo

Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda helps himself to bisi bele bath made of millets at an event organised in Bengaluru on Thursday to announce the 'Organics and Millets 2017 - National Trade Fair' that will be held from April 28 to 30 in the city. DH Photo

In an effort to promote millets as a healthier alternative to rice and wheat, the state government is organising a national trade fair with the central focus on millets.

The ‘Organics and Millets 2017 - National Trade Fair’ will be held from April 28 to 30 in the city. The event is being organised by the department of agriculture in collaboration with Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Limited, agricultural universities and Jaivik Krishik Society.

The fair will act as a medium to connect farmers, buyers, sellers and FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) companies.

“Millets are climate-resilient and can grow easily under adverse climatic conditions. Hence, we are promoting the cultivation and consumption of millets through this fair,” said Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of State for Agriculture.

“In spite of millets being one of the richest sources of nutrition, the area under millet cultivation has witnessed a sharp decline over the last five decades. The production of small millets has declined by 76%. After years of neglect, small millets are now getting attention in agricultural research and development agenda of the country and this fair is a step towards the same. We will encourage cultivation of millets among farmers and promote them as potential food products for sale,” said Gowda.

“In each hobli, we have identified a village spread across 100 hectares for organic farming. There are 566 farmers’ groups across the state involved in organic farming. These farmers will be certified as organic farmers after they complete three years of organic cultivation. Farmers’ groups will participate in the fair which will act as a platform to directly connect farmers with potential FMCG companies,” said B Shivaraju, director of Karnataka State Seeds and Organic Certification Agency.

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