Indore (Madhya Pradesh): 2022-2023 is being celebrated as the international year of ‘Millets’. In this regard, Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwavidhyalaya, (College of Agriculture Indore), has taken up the initiative to spread Millet Awareness among students, local people and farmers. The programme is conducted by Scientist Nisha Sapre (Nodal officer Millet), under the guidance of Dr Mridula Billore.
Under ‘Millet Awareness Programme’, nine types of Kharif millet crops have been sown in a millet crop cafeteria which is spread in around 1 acre farmland for demonstration and identification of millets right from the initial stage to maturity. This is being done to make people aware about millet crops and how to identify and differentiate between different crops. The variety of Kharif crops sown are Shorghum, Porso Millet, Pearl Millet, Foxtail Millet, Finger Millet, Brontap Millet, Branyard Millet, Little Millet and Buckwheat.
If farmer grows these, it provides a huge benefit as they grow in less fertile soil, less water requirement than wheat, soybean or rice and these crops are tolerant to insect and are pest resistance. We can grow the crops chemical free. It requires less manpower and electricity and is highly beneficial for the human body.
One research is being conducted under the same programme in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), in which farmers can use the technique of inter- cropping like growing shorghum with soybean. This will lead to dual income benefit for farmers. If they grow shorghum with soybean, they will get benefit of 10pc and if they grow pegion pea (arhar) with shorghum then they will get benefit of 25pc.
50 farmers of Dewas and Alirajpur district have been selected for frontline demonstration to compare their indigenous technology with the improved technology.
POPULATION AWARENESS PROGRAMME
The theme of the Independence Day programme was kept millet based – poems and songs were based on millets. Rally on millet awareness have been conducted Training is provided to 100 framers of Alirajpur. Millet baskets were distributed to farmers which included all nine types of millets.
In the coming month and on the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi – rangoli making, poster making and debate on the millet theme are to be organised.
WHY MILLET AWARENESS PROGRAMME
At the time of green revolution, 20pc of millet was contributed to the national food product. Now it has declined to 6pc in which small millets are declined by 89pc, shorghum by 68pc and the least is pearl millet with a decline of 20pc.
Millet consumption by bottom line people in rural areas was 1 kg per capita, per month, which has now declined to 275 gram per capita, per month whereas millet consumption by top line people was 1kg per capita, per month and now it has declined to just 100 gram.
Millets are very healthy for human body, as it is rich in calcium, iron and magnesium and are gluten-free, which makes it easy to digest. A person should prefer multigrain to get a balance diet and try not to make it junk in form of cookies and other items.