DISTRIBUTION OF MILLETS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Food Security)

News-CRUX-10     3rd August 2023        
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Context: The Government has planned to increase distribution of Millets under public distribution scheme.

The distribution is under:

  • Advance planning for achieving higher procurement targets of coarse grains with major contribution of Bajra and Ragi.
  • State to include millet for distribution under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKAY) in lieu of wheat/rice.
  • Procuring States are advised to convey the surplus quantity well in advance. Deficit States are advised to convey their requirement of coarse grains/millets well in advance. 
  • States are requested to encourage the diversification of crops by enhancing the production of more coarse grains/millets
  • To improve the level of nutrition among the beneficiaries covered under NFSA, all the States/ UTs have been requested to procure millets and distribute for NFSA beneficiaries as per local consumption preference and as per the guidelines issued by this Department from time to time.
    • Government of India has made special efforts for popularizing millets. 
    • Department of Food & Public Distribution and field offices i.e. Food Corporation India (FCI) and Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) have conducted awareness about the millets through organizing Millets Awareness Programme/Competition/Seminars etc. 
    • Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) is promoting millets during India’s G20 presidency. Millets are also showcased in various events such as International Trade Fair, Surajkund Mela, etc. 
    • A key event organized towards International Year of Millets was the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference, held from 18th -19th March 2023 at IARI Pusa campus, New Delhi. 
    • In continuation to the efforts towards mainstreaming millets, a ‘Millets Experience Centre (MEC)’ has been opened in Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi with an aim to raise awareness on Millets and encouraging its adoption among general public. 
    • In order to encourage consumption of millets snacks in Departmental trainings/ meetings and millet based food items in Departmental canteens. 
    • DA&FW has also installed vending machines for millet products through National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) to various Ministries/ Departments.
    • Millet and its product have been identified as One District One Product (ODOP) in 19 Districts of 10 States.
    • The Indian Council of Agriculture Research- Indian Institute of Millet Research (ICAR-IIMR), Hyderabad is also regularly conducting workshop on millets recipe/ millet sweets like kheer and cookies/ cooking with millets for all sector of people including chefs. 
    • IIMR through its nutri hub is conducting relevant entrepreneurial programme like nutri-cereals entrepreneurship and startup training programme (NEST). 
    • ICAR/IIMR Hyderabad has developed various ready to eat and ready to cook millet based foods. 
    • “Eatrite” branding of millet foods have been successfully built through campaigning, popularization and awareness programmes.
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