28 July 2022, New Delhi: Government plans to hold several programmes in the country and abroad for popularizing Millets and other nutri-cereals. All Ministries/Departments of the Government of India, along with the State Governments, will promote the nutri-cereals in coordination with the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) and Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE).
The Government of India had proposed to the United Nations for declaring 2023 as International Year of Millets (IYoM). The proposal of India was supported by 72 countries and United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 2023 as International Year of Millets (IYOM) in March, 2021.
Addressing the meeting, Mr. Tomar said the Government of India has planned activities for grand celebrations of IYoM-2023. The action plan of IYOM-2023 focuses on strategies to enhance production, consumption, export, branding etc. The Government has also launched PLI scheme for promotion of Millets, he said.
The Government has also approved a Central Sector Scheme, namely “Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Food Processing Industry” with an outlay of INR 10,900 crores to be implemented for a period of seven years from 2021-2022 to 2026-27.
The primary objectives of this scheme include support to creation of global food manufacturing champions and support Indian brands of food products in the international markets. Specific food product segments having high growth potential have been identified for providing support under the scheme. These include ready to cook/ready to eat (RTC/ RTE) foods including millet-based products.
Mr. Tomar said a Committee of Secretaries under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary and a Core Committee chaired by Secretary, DA&FW and Secretary, DARE has been constituted to oversee the programmes and policies on popularizing Nutri-Cereals (Millets).
Millets are a rich source of Protein, Fibre, Minerals, Iron, Calcium and have a low glycemic index. India is a major producer of Millets, accounting for 80% of Asia’s production and 20% of global production. India’s average yield of Millets (1239 kg/hectare) is also higher than Global average yield of 1229 kg/haq. Major Millets crops grown in India and their percentage share of production are Pearl Millet (Bajra) 61% share, Jowar (Sorghum) 27%, and Finger Millet (Mandua/Ragi) 10%.