Govt mulls retail outlets for millet products

Despite deficit rainfall, the state has met 66% of its sowing target so far - 49.47 lakh hectares out of the target 74.69 lakh hectare.

The government is “seriously considering” a proposal to sell millet products in the state-run retail outlets and also to deliver them to homes, Agriculture Minister N H Shivashankara Reddy said on Wednesday.

“We already have outlets run by Hopcoms and the Karnataka Milk Federation where we can create a market for the millet products. We can also have the products delivered home along with milk,” Reddy told reporters.

Ensuring that the millet farmers get the right price and consumers get the products at a low price is “a big challenge” for the government, the minister said. “The problem is that middlemen are taking all the benefits. By creating a retail marketplace, we can cut middlemen by at least 75%,” he said.

The government is also looking to promote bamboo as an alternative to eucalyptus. “Bamboo is a more environment-friendly crop that produces more oxygen. We want to promote bamboo in a phased manner so as to slowly eliminate eucalyptus,” he said, adding that farmers can roughly earn Rs 3.5 lakh per acre over three years with bamboo. “I’m trying to see how we can get bamboo into the existing schemes.”

Despite deficit rainfall, the state has met 66% of its sowing target so far - 49.47 lakh hectares out of the target 74.69 lakh hectare. “In August and September, we expect that another 21.04 lakh hectares will be sown. We also anticipate preparing crop contingency plans for 8.07 lakh hectares,” Reddy said.

A team of officials from the state will visit the Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh this month to study zero budget natural farming, the minister added.

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Govt mulls retail outlets for millet products

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