NABARD Business Line Millets Conclave 2023. Millets production  to triple by 2030: Nabard Chairman

Setting the tone for the future of millets during the International Year of Millets, Shaji KV, Chairman of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) said that the target is to triple their production to 45 million tonnes by 2030 and it is possible. “We are trying to revive the military sector, which has declined”. Speaking at Nabard’s Millets Conclave 2023 trade line on Friday, he said India accounts for 41 percent of the world’s millet production. It accounts for 81 percent of Asia’s mileage. 

  The goal of this year’s millet production  is  17 million tons and by 2030, 45 million tons. Millet plays a vital role  in the food security of the country. Since food security is not a major concern now, let us look at sustainability. Millet binds carbon efficiently and does not require much water and is also heat resistant. harvest time of millet is  60 percent shorter compared to other grains, so the risk for the farmer is less and it is time to renew millet farming. 

 According to him, improving the unit productivity of millets will help address rural livelihoods and food security. In addition, 50 percent of the population depends on agriculture, which supports 17 percent of GDP.  Talking about Nabard’s role, he said, “We are trying to move people from purely agro-processing to agro-processing. We are trying to reinvent cooperatives. Cooperatives were the original FPOs. 

 Shaji said there was a need to improve the yield differences between different geographical areas of millet cultivation. “If the harvest intervals are equalized, productivity can be increased”. It can also  be distributed through PDS, he said.  Nabard and APEDA will open the export line, Shaji said, adding that “₹600 crore Nabard fund will be used to promote thousands of start-ups. Funding will be through our subsidiary Nab Ventures.” 

  He said that Nabard is trying to create derivatives for FPOs through NCDEX and is working with RBI to redefine  Kissan credit card, look at credit card upgrades and make it available not only  in agriculture but also for farmers. Director General of  Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Himanshu Pathak said in a virtual call, “Mills were the traditional food of India, but after the Green Revolution, they lost their luster due to the rise of rice and wheat”. Global millet production  is about 100 million tons from about 80 million hectares. The most important sorghum and pearl millets occupy more than 90 percent of the production area. 

 According to the clean environment talk, millets can better bind carbon and nitrogen. He explained that they adapt very well to reduced soil fertility. To promote millets, some things must be done in the fields of science, economy and politics, he added. In the field of research, there is a need to develop high yielding varieties with good practices to increase productivity and production. In the last five years, ICAR has developed 133 varieties. 

 “Efforts from all stakeholders are needed to create a win-win situation and enable us to sensitize civil society in the International Year of Millet,” he said, adding, “Let’s make room for millet in the mainstream of cultivation.” Business Line Editor Raghuvir Srinivasan said in his welcome address that millets play a vital role  in the food security of the country. APEDA President Abhishek Dev said in his special speech that India plans to export millet worth USD 100 million  by 2025. In the fiscal year 2022-23, millet exports were USD 75.43 million. 

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