MYSURU: A millet fair has been organised as part of the ongoing Suttur Jathra and Suttur near Mysuru. As part of the event, a symposium on millet cultivation was also organised and progressive farmers were felicitated.
Speaking on the occasion, Public TV chairman H R Ranganath noted that just like how every consumer product is delivered to the doorsteps of buyers through e-commerce platforms, farming aids, inputs and implements should be made available to farmers at their doorsteps by the government through a ‘Rural Amazon’-like mechanism.
“The lifestyle and eating habits of our ancestors were healthy, but later generations lost touch with it. Now, we have realised its worth and everyone is talking about millets nowadays. There should be a millet revolution and its cultivation should expand in the interest of our health and soil health. Many of the government’s schemes are not even known to people and it should make farmers aware about the markets available for millets. Only announcements and speeches are not enough. At least one taluk in Mysuru district should be selected for promotion of millet cultivation”, he suggested.
“The government should make farmers aware of financial means to take up millet cultivation. It should make arrangements to supply farmers with all inputs and create a ‘Rural Amazon’. This will also give employment opportunities to thousands of rural youths. When commodities like shirts and trousers can be delivered even at the taluk level, why can’t the government come up with a system to deliver farming inputs to the doorsteps of farmers?, he questioned.
He also regretted that rural India is fast becoming urbanised and agricultural activities are coming down.
Union Minister of State for Farmers’ Welfare, Shobha Karandlaje, in her address, noted that Ayurveda, Yoga and millets are important and added that the Centre is promoting them in a big way. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is promoting millets as it is beneficial to everyone. He is making all efforts for increasing their export. Due to consumption of millets, we have been able to overcome food shortage, raise nutrition levels and achieved Atma Nirbharta in food security. The Union government had allocated only Rs 23,000 crore in the 2013 budget for agriculture, which hsa been increased to Rs 1,32,000 crore under the present government with focus on farmer welfare”, she noted.
Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS) functionary C R Madhusudhan said millets are the answer to malnutrition and diabetes. “Our forefathers had given us healthy food habits, but we have ignored them. India is one of the few countries with no food shortage, but we must focus on the quality of foodgrains. The youths should be mentally and physically strong, for which millets are essential”, he noted.
Suttur Mutt seer Shivarathri Deshikendra Swami, Legislative Council Chairman Basavaraj Horatti and others were present on the occasion.