PDS ministry revised norms to boost millet production: Arjun Munda

The action plan of International Millet Year 2023 focuses on a strategy to enhance production, productivity, consumption, export, strengthening value chains, branding of millets

Millet Production

New Delhi: The Union ministry of food and public distribution (MoFPD) has revised its guidelines to increase procurement of millets under the targeted public distribution system (TPDS), integrated child development services (ICDS) and mid-day meal (MDM) schemes to boost millet production, said Union agriculture minister Arjun Munda in a written reply to Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Munda, who recently also took over the Union agriculture minister, said that the ministry has also advised the state governments and Union territories (UTs) to increase procurement of millets. The measures have been taken in line with the Central government’s objectives to celebrate 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYoM), as declared by the United Nations on India’s proposal.

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The Union agriculture and farmers’ welfare minister said both the Central and state governments have taken numerous steps for promoting millets (Shree Anna). The action plan of IYoM 2023 focuses on a strategy to enhance production, productivity, consumption, export, strengthening the value chains, branding and also creating awareness for health benefits etc.

Production of Nutri Cereals

Union agriculture & farmers’ welfare minister Arjun Munda

To increase the production of Nutri Cereals for meeting their enhanced demand, the Central Government is implementing the National Food Security Mission – Nutri Cereals (NFSM-Nutri Cereals). The interventions covered under NFSM-Nutri Cereals include cluster front line demonstrations on improved package of practices, seed distribution & micronutrients, biofertilizers, production of certified seeds of High Yielding Varieties, plant protection chemicals, weedicides, sprayer, efficient water application tools, cropping system based training. Seed Hubs for millets have also been set up. Further interventions include breeder seed production, production of certified seeds, distribution of seed mini kits (HYVs) etc. States such as Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have initiated millet missions in the states to promote millets.

Incentives to boost millet production

The Government also incentivizes farmers to increase the production and productivity of millets through Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. It has also fixed the MSP for major millets to ensure that farmers get remunerative prices.

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To increase the production of millets based products, a Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme has been notified by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries in June 2022. Millets are also included under the Poshan Abhiyan of the ministry of women and child development. Further, the MoFPD has revised its guidelines to increase the procurement of millets under the TPDS, ICDS and MDM schemes.

Centre to continue CSS schemes in agriculture

Union agriculture and farmers’ welfare minister Arjun Munda further informed the Lok Sabha that the MoA&FW will continue its funding in the centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) in agriculture sector to ensure good return to agriculturists.

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He said that the ministry has decided to carry on with the schemes like Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY), Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) & Kisan Credit Credit Card Saturation Drive, Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM), National Mission on Natural Farming (NMNF), Promotion of Drone Technology in Agriculture, Agritech, Agri startups, etc, as they were found highly relevant by the NITI Ayog.

Centrally sponsored schemes in agriculture highly relevant

“An evaluation of CSS in agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries sectors was done by Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO), NITI Aayog in 2020. The report finds the CSS implemented by the MoA&FW highly relevant for the development of agriculture sector as well as welfare of farmers of the nation and therefore, recommended for its continuation. Implementation of these schemes is closely monitored and reviewed at higher level on a regular basis, and the government engages in continuous consultations with all relevant stakeholders in order to ensure that any challenges or hindrances are promptly identified, and appropriate remedial actions are taken in a timely manner.

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