Koraput: Administrative officials of Koraput district are planning to promote millets in a big manner.
Accordingly, it is planning to start awareness campaigns on millets to reach out to hotels, restaurants and educational institutions to promote the product.
The matter came to the fore during a preparatory meeting organised by the state Millet Mission in association with officials of the district administration at the Sadbhavana conference hall in the district collectorate office here Friday.
Koraput ADM Rajendra Majhi presided over the meeting in which participants stressed on creating awareness of millet consumption by organising art and quiz competitions in various schools and colleges. This, they hoped, will motivate more and more people to take up millet cultivation. Plans are afoot to promote millets as one variety of staple food in rural areas, officials informed Saturday.
Similarly, participants stressed on preparing various food items from millets so that those are available at Anganwadi centres and are a part of the mid-day meals in schools. They also stressed on promoting mass consumption of various millet-based crops like ‘mandia’, ‘suan’ and ‘kangu’ as part of a staple diet.
Earlier, millet was cultivated on 8,000 hectares of land in Koraput district. However, now the land area has increased to 27,000 hectares, chief district agriculture officer Biswaraj Ratha said. This year, the district Agriculture department has set a target for procurement of 219 quintals of millets in 46 mandis established for the purpose. So far 146 quintals have already been procured, Ratha informed. Earlier, farmers were only interested in paddy cultivation. Now, however, many are opting for millets. The reason is that one kilogram of millet fetches double the price the same amount of paddy does.
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