Aug 12: The Government of India is implementing a multi-stakeholder approach towards the celebration of the International Year of Millets (IYM) – 2023. The action plan of IYM-2023 focuses on strategies to enhance production and productivity, consumption, export, strengthening the value chain, branding, creating awareness for health benefits etc. To promote Shree Anna a yearlong action plan for monthly activity has been prepared by Central Ministries, State Governments and Indian Embassies.
In order to increase the production and productivity of Shree Anna, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) is implementing a Sub-Mission on Nutri-Cereals under National Food Security Mission (NFSM) in all districts of 28 States & 2 Union Territories viz. Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. Under NFSM–Nutri Cereals, the incentives are provided to the farmers, through the States/UTs, on crop production and protection technologies, cropping system-based demonstrations, production & distribution of certified seeds of newly released varieties/hybrids, Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management techniques, improved farm implements/tools/resource conservation machinery, water saving devices, capacity building of farmers through training during cropping season, organizing events/workshops, distribution of seed mini-kits, publicity through print and electronic media etc. The interventions such as the formation of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) for Shree Anna, and setting up Centers of Excellence (CoE) and seed hubs for Shree Anna have also been supported under NFSM. In addition, states such as Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh have initiated Millet Missions in the States to promote Shree Anna. To make India a global hub for ‘Shree Anna’, the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), Hyderabad has been declared as the Centre of Excellence for sharing best practices, research and technologies at the national and international level.
Shree Anna is also included under the Poshan Abhiyan of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Further, the Ministry of Food and Public Distribution has revised its guidelines to increase the procurement of Shree Anna under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal. The Ministry has also advised the State Governments and Union Territories to increase the procurement of Shree Anna. An Export Promotion Forum dedicated to the promotion of Shree Anna in the international market has been set up to facilitate the promotion, marketing and development of Shree Anna exports from India. Under the Eat Right campaign, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is creating awareness to promote the use of Shree Anna as part of a healthy and varied diet.
Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has implemented the Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industry for Millet-based products (PLISMBP) during 2022-23 to 2026-27 with an outlay of Rs. 800 crores. The Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme, launched under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is currently being implemented in 35 States and Union Territories (UTs). The Government is also popularizing the Agri-Infrastructure Fund Scheme to invite farmers/FPOs/Entrepreneurs to avail the benefit of interest subvention on loans up to 2 crores for setting up primary processing units in Shree Anna. The government is also promoting Shree Anna-based startups to increase the demand for Shree Anna.
As a part of promotional activities of IYM 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is promoting Shree Anna during India’s G20 presidency. Shree Anna is also showcased in various events such as International Trade Fair, Surajkund Mela etc. A key event organized towards the International Year of Millets was the Global Millets (Shree Anna) Conference, held from 18th– 19th March 2023 at the IARI Pusa campus, New Delhi which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister. In continuation of the efforts towards mainstreaming Shree Anna, a ‘Millets Experience Centre (MEC)’ has been opened at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi with an aim to raise awareness of Shree Anna and encourage its adoption among the general public. In order to encourage the consumption of Shree Anna among government employees, all Government offices have been advised to include Shree Anna snacks in departmental training/meetings and Shree Anna-based food items in departmental canteens. DA&FW has also installed vending machines for Shree Anna products through the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) to various Ministries/Departments. Shree Anna and its products have been identified as One District One Product (ODOP) in 19 districts of 10 States.
The state-wise production of millets in the country during the last 5 years (2018-19 to 2022-23) is given below. The major millet crops procured by the Government are jowar, bajra, and ragi. During the last five years, the quantum of jowar, bajra and ragi procured by the Government are 423675 metric tonnes, 758094 metric tonnes and 1676067 metric tonnes respectively.
The state-wise production of millets (shree anna) during 2018-19 to 2022-23 is as under;
(Production in ‘000 tonnes)