Raipur. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has announced that Chhattisgarh will become the millet hub of the country in the coming times. Under Millet Mission, farmers will get the right price for small cereal crops, they will have input assistance, procurement arrangements, processing, and experts to help. Like minor forest produce, we want to make small grain crops the strength of Chhattisgarh.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel today at his residence office was addressing the program organized for the signing of MoU between the Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad and the Collectors of 14 districts under Millet Mission of the state, including Kanker, Kondagaon, Bastar, Dantewada, Bijapur, Sukma, Narayanpur, Rajnandgaon, Kawardha, Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi, Balrampur, Koriya, Surajpur and Jashpur. Under the MoU, the Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad will provide support and guidance for increasing the productivity of Kodo, Kutki and Ragi, technical know-how, availability of high-quality seeds and establishment of the seed bank in Chhattisgarh. The government will arrange training for the farmers of Chhattisgarh through Krishi Vigyan Kendra for spreading the scientific technology developed at the national level related to millet production by IIMR Hyderabad at the field level.
On this occasion, Forest and Climate Change Minister Mohammad Akbar, Industries Minister Kawasi Lakhma, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister Subrata Sahoo, Agriculture Production Commissioner M. Geeta, Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce Cooperative Federation Managing Director Sanjay Shukla, Secretary Industries Department, Ashish Bhatt, Director Industries Anil Tuteja were present. Director of Indian Institute of Millet Research Vilas A. Tonapi and Chief Scientist Dayakar Rao and Collectors of 14 districts joined the program online. The Millet Mission will increase the income of the farmers and tribal areas. At the same time, the processing and value addition of millets will also employ farmers, women's groups and youth. Kodo-Kutki, Ragi is produced in 20 districts of Chhattisgarh. In the first phase, 14 districts signed the MoUs.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government has now started Mission-Millet to increase the yield of these crops, ensure procurement arrangements and take them to the markets after processing. Along with fixing the support price of Kodo, Kutki and Ragi, the state government has also included these under the purview of Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana. With this, now the farmers growing these small cereal crops will also get input assistance like other farmers.
The purchase of minor cereal crops would get accomplished through the Van Dhan societies of Chhattisgarh Minor Forest Produce Co-operative Federation. The government will use these crops in schemes like mid-day meals, public distribution systems and nutrition programs. The government has also decided to manage Rs 170 crore 30 lakh for the next five years of Millet Mission through DMF and other means. He said that under Millet Mission, farmers growing Kodo-Kutki and Ragi crops would get input assistance of Rs.9000 per acre and Rs.10,000 per acre for Kodo-Kutki and Ragi instead of paddy.
The Chief Minister said that like minor forest produce, the small-grain crop would create employment opportunities. Two processing units have been established at Kanker and Durgukondal. Sisters of Self Help Groups are getting employment from this. Like minor forest produce, we also want to make small grain crops the new strength of Chhattisgarh. In the next phase, more districts will sign the MoUs.
The Managing Director of Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce Co-operative Federation, Sanjay Shukla, said that IIMR specialists posted in the districts by the State Government, will guide the farmers to increase the production of millets.