Karnataka is the country’s largest producer of millets, yet the humble millet is steadily losing out to foreign superfood options like chia seeds and quinoa.

Move over other superfoods Karnataka farmers can now sell their millets online
news Organic Farming Friday, April 28, 2017 - 19:51

In a move to promote the cultivation and consumption of millets in the state, the Karnataka government has invited farmers, buyers, sellers, exporters and consumers, as well as organic product processors, manufacturers of farm equipment and other stakeholders to the National Trade Fair – Organics & Millets 2017, on Friday.

The first day of the three-day event ended with Big Basket, India’s leading online grocery store, signing up a number of farmers to sell their produce on the online platform.

“We are focusing on millets that is being increasingly acknowledged as a superfood with multiple health benefits. We aim to make Bengaluru the millet capital of India. Millets are highly nutritious, and need minimal water and chemicals during cultivation. They can be grown in drylands with low rainfall, and are capital costs are low. Considering the crop failure for paddy and sugarcane farmers, we plan to make millets cash crops as they can cope during drought,” Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of Agriculture, Karnataka said.

The Karnataka government is planning to revive millet production by providing greater subsidy on millet seeds, increasing the bonus price for millets and introducing them in the public distribution system.

“We have witnessed a tremendous growth in the agriculture sector over the last six decades but have not yet been able to capitalise on it fully and address the farmer’s concerns. This event is a catalyst between companies and farmers to boost their moral to cultivate and sell millets,” said DV Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation.

The Minister said that Karnataka currently has 2.01 million hectares under cultivation, and ragi, jowar and pearl millet are the main crops that are cultivated.

More than 200 global companies will showcase a variety of organic products, millets and millet-based foods, eco-friendly products and processing machinery and equipment.

“We aim to focus on the emergence of millets in India and across the world. The meet is being held to come up with strategies and technologies for improving organic production and also educating the farmers on various online platforms where they can sell their products and make more money,” Gowda added.

 

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