3 Jun 2019
The Hans India
Vizianagaram: The agriculture department is planning to divert the farmers in watershed areas to cultivate millets instead of paddy in the ensuing kharif season. Normally, paddy needs good rainfall and favourable atmosphere but the millets need not require such conditions and the crop will grow even in drought like situations and give good yield too.
Nowadays, the educated, elite and rich families are preferring to consume millets as they have less quantity of carbohydrates and rich source of fiber. Those food items made of millets won’t allow us to become fatty or obese. So, the demand for those grains is escalating in the past three four years. Considering the growing demand, the agriculture department is planning to encourage millets cultivation by providing some sops to them. The farmers in the district are cultivating various crops in kharif in 1.2 lakh hectares.
But due to unavailability of water, crops in 15,000-20,000 hectares are drying up. The same lands can produce good quantity of millets at lesser rainfall and water.
Price of Ragi is Rs 40 a kg and foxtail millets (Korralu) is Rs 80-90 per kg and jowar is Rs 50 per kg and bajra also being sold at Rs 60 a kg. Even these crops need very less expenditure. So, the tribal farmers are being encouraged towards cultivation of these crops.
Joint Director of Agriculture B Chandra Naik said, “Our aim is to expand the cultivation of millets in 1,300-1,500 acres and we are supplying seeds on subsidy. There is a good demand for the millets now.”
Dr D Pari Naidu, founder of Jattu Trust, who is encouraging natural farming and millets cultivation, said “We should publicise the consumption of millets as they are healthier than paddy and contains good amount of fiber and easy for digestion too. We are encouraging the farmers in hilltop areas to cultivate jowar, bajra, ragi and foxtail millets.”
Original post on The Hans India