HYDERABAD: Millet farmers in the state, who achieved stable production in the recent past, have sought state government’s support to expand the production of organic food grains in the state. In order to encourage more farmers to switch from expensive commercial crops to the profitable millet cultivation, the millet farmers appealed to the state government to declare Telangana a ‘Millet State’.
During the inauguration of the fourth national convention of the Millet Network of India (MINI) here on Wednesday, millet farmers, activists and scientists highlighted the growth of millet farming in state. Telangana has perfect conditions for millet farming. It has the potential to become the most profitable crop for farmers in Telangna, owing to the dry weather and limited availability of water resources here, said PV Satheesh, national convener of MINI and director of Deccan Development Society (DDS).
Delivering keynote address, Satheesh also highlighted the importance of sustainable agriculture in stable economies. Policymakers must focus on production of crops like millet which have both nutrition and commercial values. He urged the government to extend the benefits of existing agricultural policy to millet farming.
C Parthasarathi, principal secretary (agriculture), said the importance of millets was increasing by the day. This trend could lead to second Green Revolution through its combination of nature, ecology and local farmers’ welfare.
Addressing the farmers, he said the minimum support price and creation of demand for millets are two most important factors. In order to earn profits, farmers should label their products as organic food products and supply them to cities where organic products were in huge demand, he said.
The two-day convention is being held at the Centre for Economic and Social Studies in the city. The event will feature discussions on food safety, food production, nutrition values and climate change. Millet farmers from various states, scientists, activists would take part in the discussions. At the end of the sessions, convention would come up with a deceleration on millets as a tool to end hunger and address malnutrition, the organisers said.