Full article by Spl. Correspondent @The Hindu PC: CV Subrahmanyam
30 participants from eight States take part in the five-day training programme
A five-day national training programme on millets discussed the possibilities of intercropping millets in commercial crops and major millets.
Since the area that had been traditionally used to cultivate millets is presently replaced by cash crops like soya, groundnut and cotton intercropping is an option to bring back millets, according to M.L. Sanyasi Rao, Programme Manager of Watershed Support Services and Support Network (WASSAN).
A total of 30 participants from Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha have participated in the programme organised here from February 26.
The main aim of the training was to discuss best practices on millet production, processing facilities, value chain mechanism, marketing etc. and to share and exchange the Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Millet Mission experiences on millets with the north and central Indian regions.
Participants from Madhya Pradesh and Punjab raised the issue of moisture in Kodo millet leading to food poisoning.
The five-day programme comprised three days of practical training, including field visits, and two-day classroom sessions.
In the technical sessions resource persons like Principal Scientist from Agriculture Research Station, Vizianagaram, Samuel Patro, nutritionist Salome Yesudas and an expert on millet processing units, Srinivas, an expert on farm mechanisation and, Peter, Dinesh Kumar and Susantha from Regularising Rain-fed Agriculture (RRA) Network, delivered lectures.
Mr. Sanyasi Rao spoke about the experience of millets production and processing in Andhra Pradesh particularly ‘Guli ragi’ system and zero-budget natural farming practices.
An exposure visit was organised to Seethampeta in Srikakulam district to interact with ‘Guli ragi’ farmers and to witness the use of tools like cycle de-weeding, wheel sprayer, etc. Participants also visited Manyam Grains Pvt Ltd, a millet processing unit established at Mamidipalli village in Anakapalle mandal.