The Millet Manifesto
- January 2, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
The Millet Manifesto
- Recently, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, a proposal sponsored by the Government of India to promote these “nutri-cereals.”
What are Millets:
- Millets are a highly varied group of small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food.
- The key varieties of millets include Sorghum, Pearl Millet, Ragi, Small Millet, Foxtail Millet, Barnyard Millet, Kodo Millet and others.
- Major producers include Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.
- Millets are a powerhouse of nutrients, which score over rice and wheat in terms of minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber content, as well as amino acid profile.
- In India, millets are primarily a kharif crop, requiring less water and agricultural inputs than other similar staples.
What is the Status of millets in India:
- India, Nigeria and China are the largest producers of millets in the world, accounting for more than 55% of the global production.
- In India, pearl millet is the fourth-most widely cultivated food crop after rice, wheat and maize.
- Major producers of millets include Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.
Conditions required for growing Millet:
|Sorghum millet/Jowar||Climate- Warm, arid.|
Rainfall- 45-100 cms.
Temperature- 20-35 degrees Celsius.
Soil- Sandy, loamy, good drainage; pH-6-7.5.
Largest producer- Maharashtra.
|Finger millet/Ragi||Climate- High altitude, extreme conditions.|
Temperature- 25-30 degrees Celsius.
Soil- Red,black,sandy,loamy and lateritic;pH-4.5-8.
Largest producer- Karnatak
|Pearl millet/Bajra||Climate- Moist conditions, without irrigation.|
Rainfall- 40-50cms .
Temperature- 20-30 degrees Celsius.
Soil- Black cotton, sandy, loamy, upland gravely, good drainage; pH-low.
|Foxtail millet/Kangni||Climate-Warm, arid, tropical region.|
Rainfall- 50-75 cms.
Temperature- 15-30 degrees Celsius.
Soil- Sandy,loam ;pH-5.5-7
Largest producer-Andhra Pradesh.
|Barnyard millet/Sanwa||Climate- Tropical, subtropical, high altitude.|
Temperature-18-27 degree Celsius.
Largest producer-Himalayan hills.
|Kodo millet/Kodon||Climate-Warm, dry, extremely drought-tolerant.|
Temperature- 26-29 degrees Celsius.
Soil-Gravelly, stony, hilly; pH-5.5-7.5.
Largest producer-Madhya Pradesh
|Proso millet/Chena||Climate-Warm, arid,non-irrigated.|
Temperature-10-45 degree Celsius.
Largest producer- Madhya Pradesh.
Why famers and consumers ignore millets
Rollingrotis is easier with wheat than millet flour. This is because the gluten proteins, for all their drawbacks, make the wheat dough more cohesive and elastic. The resultant breads come out light and fluffy, which isn’t the case with bajra or jowar.
Low per-hectare yields — the national average is roughly1 tonne for jowar, 1.5 tonnes for bajra and 1.7 tonnes for ragi, as against 3.5 tonnes for wheat and 4 tonnes for paddy area disincentive. With access to assured irrigation, they would tend to switch to rice, wheat, sugarcane, or cotton
What are steps taken in India to promote millets:
- Millets are being promoted through technology dissemination, quality seeds through millet seed hubs, awareness generation, minimum support price and inclusion in PDS
- The Union Agriculture Ministry, in April 2018, declared millets as “Nutri-Cereals”considering their high nutritive value and also .Moreover, 2018 was observed as the ‘National Year of Millets’
- The government hiked the MSP of nutri-cereals.
- The Government of India, through the revamped National Food Security Mission Operational Guidelines (NFSM) has laid specific focus on 212 millet districts in 14 states to provide incentives to farmers for quality seed production/distribution, field-level demonstrations, training, primary processing clusters and research support.