Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday, January 5, announced that millets will soon be incorporated into the menu of Indira canteens and mid-day school meals across the state. The announcement was made during the inauguration of the Millets and Organic International Trade Fair 2024, where the Chief Minister stressed the nutritional benefits of millets. “Millets can be grown even in places where rainfall and fertility is low. Millets are very helpful for good health. Hence, the state government is continuously organising millet fairs,” he said.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that a meeting of relevant departments will be convened shortly to finalise the inclusion of millets in Indira canteen and school meal programs. “The objective is to enhance the overall health and strength of the people, especially school children, by incorporating these nutritious grains into their daily diet,” he said.
Ensuring a comprehensive approach, the Chief Minister assured the establishment of a dedicated center for the promotion of millet crops. This center aims to facilitate the production of high-quality millet seeds, development of new varieties, and explore opportunities for millet export.
Last year, Karnataka's school education department contemplated the introduction of millets and sprouts into midday meals. Earlier in 2019, the then Deputy Chief Minister and current Home Minister G Parameshwara had hinted at plans to introduce millet-based meals in schools and Indira canteens. Despite the initial plans, the implementation of this proposal did not materialise.