Tamil Nadu rolls out Millets Mission for 5 years to revive use and increase production of health grains

To spread awareness on the health benefits of millets among consumers and to increase millet consumption, millet festivals will be celebrated across the state.

Published: 22nd March 2023 07:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2023 02:37 PM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose. (Photo | Express)

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  In tune with the global recognition for millets through the International Year of Millets by the United Nations, the state government has proposed to implement Tamil Nadu Millet Mission (TMM) for a period of five years and announced a host of initiatives for reviving their use among the people. For implementing the mission during 2023-24, `82 crore has been allocated. 

To spread awareness of the health benefits of millets among consumers and to increase millet consumption, millet festivals will be celebrated across the state. To make millets available to people, steps are being taken to distribute two kilograms of Ragi to family card holders in Nilgiris and Dharmapuri districts on a pilot basis. Also, to facilitate the farmers in getting a fair price, processed minor millets are procured through cooperative societies and distributed through Amutham, Chinthamani, and Kamadhenu co-operative sales outlets in Chennai and Coimbatore cities.

Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam said to increase the production and consumption of millets, finger millet and pearl millet will be directly procured and their availability will be ensured in fair-price shops. Millet-based food will be included in government institutions and hostels of educational institutions. 

The minister also said a subsidy will be given for bringing millet cultivation to fallow lands and crop diversification to millets on 50,000 acres.  To bring together millet farmers and conduct training programmes for them, 100 groups of millet producers will be formed. Besides, a 70% subsidy will be provided for the cultivation of millets on a cluster basis to facilitate getting remunerative prices through value addition.

The cash award of `5 lakh to the farmer who obtains the highest yield in rice crops will be extended to all farmers who achieve the highest productivity in other crops - millets, pulses, groundnut, gingelly, and sugarcane, from the coming year onwards. Awards in the name of Nammazhwar, pioneer of reviving organic farming in Tamil Nadu will be presented by the Hon'ble Chief Minister in the Republic Day celebration. 

The minister said `16 crore will be allocated to encourage the cultivation of less water-intensive crops like millets, pulses, and oilseeds during the Kuruvai season on 1 lakh acres. A total of 25 traditional canteens will be established in Uzhavar Sandhais in the first phase with private participation in providing the traditional cuisine of Tamil Nadu viz., nutritious millet porridge, snacks, and herbal soups to the consumers to sensitize them to traditional foods.

Subsidy for installing sprinkler irrigation systems for 12,500 acres and farmer-producer groups to set up millets processing centres for selling value-added millets, `1 lakh each for 40 SHGs for forming millet clusters, setting up of millet cafes in every district collector's office and in all Mathi - Poomalai complexes are among the measures for promoting the consumption of the millets.

Many representatives of farmer organisations welcomed the decision to supply millets through ration shops. But they are of the strong view that the government has not said anything about the marketing facilities for millets to enable the farmers in getting reasonable prices for their millets.


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