As a countdown towards 2023 that has been declared as the International Year for Millets by the UN, India on Thursday announced four major steps to make the country a leading exporter of millets.Union Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution Minister, Piyush Goyal who equated millets with yoga, said: "India is going back to its roots like yoga. Bringing back the glory of millets will make the country Aatmanirbhar in three areas: Food, Nutrition & Economy."He was addressing a webinar on 'Smart Agriculture: Bringing Back Glory of Millets; Moving Towards Aatmanirbharta in Edible Oil', soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken about the positive impact of Union Budget 2022 in the agriculture sector earlier in the morning.
Goyal's four mantras to make India a leading exporter of millets included suggestion for other states to duplicate the success of Karnataka's Fruits Model for crop diversification with a focus on millets, collaboration with agri startups to provide the latest tech to ensure quality & aid in bio fortification of millets, launching campaigns to create awareness regarding health and nutrition benefits of millets in families and international outreach to promote 'Brand India Millets'.India produces all nine common millets and is the second-largest producer and second-largest exporter of millets in the world. It produces more than 170 lakh tonnes - 80 per cent of Asia's & 20 per cent of global production of millets. Global average yield is 1,229 kgs/ha while India's is 1,239 kgs/ha.
The Minister also said that nearly 4 lakh hectare area of rice fallow is to be used for oilseeds cultivation in 100 districts of 10 states. Also, 230 high-yielding districts of oilseeds have been identified. Nearly 20 lakh hectares area will also be brought under intercropping of oilseeds in next five years.Goyal also said that Smart Agriculture is about using technology to leapfrog into a new era to build a resilient infrastructure for farmers.Secretary, Agricultural Research & Education, and DG, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), T. Mohapatra said support will be provided for post-harvest value addition, enhancing domestic consumption & branding millet products nationally and internationally.