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Minister Biswajit pitches for promotion of millets

 Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, February 04 2023: Promotion campaign in connection with International Year of Millets 2023 was organised by Department of Agriculture at Hotel Imphal, North AOC, here, on Saturday.

The launch of the millet promotion campaign was attended by agriculture minister Thongam Biswajit Singh as chief guest and Lamlai MLA Kh Ibomcha as guest of honour while additional chief secretary P Vaiphei, agriculture commissioner RK Dinesh, ICAR-NER, Manipur Centre joint director Dr I Meghachandra and CAU, College of Agriculture, Agronomy HoD Prof L Nabachandra were present as special guests.

Speaking on the occasion, minister Biswajit observed that millets are very suitable crop for facing the challenges posed by climate change that is affecting the whole world.

While stating that millets have become a forgotten crop though the same was widely consumed by the forefathers, he pointed out that people of Manipur have been consuming millets in the form of 'Chamu Kabok' (puffed snack item).

Millet farming requires very less amount of fertilizer and water and can be harvested in a short period of time, Biswajit said.

Pointing out the healthy aspects of consuming millets, the minister mentioned it is rich in dietary fibre and has low glycaemic index, hence, excellent food for consumption by diabetes patients.

As millets are also have high protein content and low fat, regular consumption of the same will be beneficial for people suffering from obesity and diabetes, he added.

Biswajit also stated that millet farming will bring positive impact on economy of farmers which will fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mission of doubling the income of farmers.

The Agriculture Department is also working with various stakeholders and experts to promote millets, Biswajit confided and expressed that it would be beneficial if the crop grown in the state is of high quality and farmed in organic manner.

He also emphasised on promoting the crop on social media and with the help of posters and hoardings and further conveyed that the state has many resources.

The Union government sees the North East region as the growth engine and is duly giving much focus, the minister said while regretting that inspite of abundant talent and reckoned as fast learners, people of Manipur are comparatively unsound economically as we have not pushed hard enough.

The minister also informed that there is positive response from the Union ministry concerned to the state's proposal for digging tube wells to address the irrigation problem faced by farmers of the state.

If the proposals get the centre's nod, then multi-cropping can be carried out in the state which in turn will enhance the economy, increase GDP and bring development, he said.

Biswajit then appealed to farmers to consult with experts for better understanding on which crops would be suitable for a particular season.

As part of the campaign, a technical session was conducted during which ICAR, Manipur Centre scientist Dr T Basanta spoke on the topic 'Package of Practices of Millets Cultivation', CAU College of Food Technology associate professor Dr Ng Joy-kumar on 'Post-Harvest Management of Millets and KVK, Thoubal SMS (home science) RK Lembisana on 'Preparation of Value Added Products of Millets'.

The event was attended by farmers from various districts of the state.