Guwahati: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday inaugurated a millet cafe in the premises of Janata Bhawan (State Secretariat) and commented that the cafe has been inaugurated to increase the popularity of millet and complement the nutritional quotient of the employees of Janata Bhawan in Dispur.
Sarma stated that the Government launched the Millet Mission on November 16, 2022, to help the people of the State to get their nutrition from millets. He said that the agriculture system of the State is attuned to the farming of rice and the government now wants to bring in diversification. Therefore, to contribute to diversification and self-sufficiency, the mission was launched, he added.
Mentionable is that the year 2023 is being observed as the International Year of Millets following the approval of India’s proposal to the Food and Agricultural Organization. Earlier, New Delhi observed 2018 as the National Year of Millets to boost production of the nutrient-rich grains and also the agro-industries involved in millet production.
India produces the largest volume of millets in the world and it’s the second-largest millet exporter.
Millets are recognised as one of the oldest foods, which can be cultivated in dry areas and also less fertile lands. The commonly grown millets in India include Jowar, Bajra, Jhangora, Barri, Kangni, Kodra, etc. States like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu etc witness traditional millet cultivation.
Millets can be grown in poor climatic and soil conditions. Moreover, its growing season is around two months and seeds can be stored for more than two years. The increased production of millets is expected to help fight against hunger and also mitigate climate change effects. Presenting the first Amrit Kaal budget in the Parliament on February 1, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted India’s goal to promote millets both domestically and abroad.
Opening the millet cafe in the State Secretariat, Sarma added that the State Government has been taking a series of steps to promote the millet mission as a successful venture within a span of seven years (2022 to 2029). In presence of State ministers Atul Bora, UG Brahma, Sanjay Kishan, BTC chief Pramod Boro, State chief secretary Paban Kumar Borthakur and other senior officers, Sarma also requested everybody to add millet to their daily diet.