Centre plans to distribute millets through PDS, midday meal schemes

Centre plans to distribute millets through PDS, midday meal schemes

Since Millets are highly nutritious when compared to other cereals, the Centre is planning to distribute it to citizens through public distribution system and midday meal schemes.

"We are trying to ensure millets are brought under the PDS (Public Distribution System) and schemes like Midday Meal. Niti Aayog has suggested this should be part of the PDS," Union Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak said on Monday.

Ragi has a very high calcium content. Therefore, the government is thinking of promoting millets as "nutri-cereals' and is already in the direction of making the storage facility of the cereal better, he said.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research is working on the issue of low yields and storage and is  likely to release some high yielding varieties soon, he said.

He also suggested that the states should promote setting up of farmer producers organisations (FPOs) for better production and marketing of millets, ensuring higher income to farmers.

Karnataka in the front

The Karnataka Government earlier demanded the Centre to procure millets from Karnataka which is one of the highest millet growing state in the country. Karnataka had held Organics and Millets International Trade Fare in Bengaluru in January to promote the marketing of the cereal.    

Since the millets can be grown using less water and dry land, it would be a blessing to farmers who have been suffering due to failure of monsoon, Pattanayak said.

Millets is group of highly variable small-seeded  grasses, widely grown around the world as  cereal  crops. Some of the varieties of millets are bajra, ragi, sorghum, jowar , brown top millets ( korle), Little millet (samai) and Indian barnyard millet.

 

 

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