Increasing production and consumption of millets - Hindustan Times

NITI Aayog Report Reveals: Decline in Millet Cultivation Attributed to Lack of Promotion and Initiatives.

The NITI Aayog, a prominent governmental think tank, unveiled an illuminating report on April 26 titled “Promoting Millets in Diets: Best Practices across States, UTs of India.” This report shines a light on the diminishing cultivation of various millet crops in India, citing a reduction in millet production due to the prevalent emphasis on rice and wheat promotion, alongside the lack of dedicated initiatives aimed at fostering millet cultivation.

A Worrisome Trend

The report brings into focus a disconcerting trend – the shrinking acreage dedicated to millet cultivation in India. This phenomenon is rooted in multifaceted factors, with the report underscoring two critical contributors: the prevalent promotion of rice and wheat over millets, and the dearth of strategic endeavors directed at fostering the growth of millet crops.

A Shift in Focus

The report sheds light on the significant role played by the promotion of rice and wheat in steering the trajectory of Indian agriculture. With an evident tilt towards these staple crops, the cultivation of millets has suffered a setback. The report highlights the need for a comprehensive approach that not only supports rice and wheat but also considers the importance of preserving and promoting diverse crops like millets.

The Call for Initiatives

The absence of targeted initiatives towards millet cultivation forms a crucial aspect of the issue. The report laments the dearth of comprehensive strategies aimed at bolstering millet production. This absence of dedicated efforts has led to a scenario where millets, once integral to the Indian diet, have faded into obscurity due to demand and supply challenges.

Revisiting Tradition

Millet crops, once an intrinsic part of the Indian diet, have fallen by the wayside in the face of modern agricultural dynamics. The NITI Aayog report highlights the need to rekindle the connection with these ancient grains, not merely for their nutritional value but also for the preservation of biodiversity and sustainable agricultural practices.

The Millet Renaissance

The release of the NITI Aayog report underscores a call to action for a millet renaissance. The report urges a concerted effort to resurrect the cultivation and consumption of millets, advocating for a balanced agricultural approach that embraces both traditional and contemporary crops. Such a transformation holds the promise of addressing dietary challenges, supporting local economies, and fostering ecological resilience.

A Complex Endeavor

In conclusion, the NITI Aayog report echoes a vital message regarding the decline of millet cultivation. As the Indian agricultural landscape evolves, it is imperative to strike a harmonious balance between promoting staple crops and nurturing the growth of diverse grains like millets. By weaving traditional wisdom with modern strategies, India can pave the way for a sustainable agricultural future that nourishes both its people and its land.

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