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About Millet Fest

Initiative Nutritional Security through Intensive Millets Promotion (INSIMP)

Initiative for Nutritional Security through Intensive Millets Promotion (INSIMP) – a sub-scheme of RKVY has been launched from 2011-12 with aim to demonstrate the improved production and post-harvest technologies in an integrated manner with an allocation of Rs. 300 crores in 16 States. As regards the production and consumption of millets during current year is concerned, it is too early to make an assessment for current year at this stage, when sowings are in progress. However, it is stated that millet grains are used as traditional food including fermented products like rabri in their areas of cultivation, value added bakery products, in Urban areas, feed for live stock including birds. Millets are largely grown under rain¬fed condition and can thrive with rain fall of 300 mm, wherein major cereals like wheat and rice cannot be grown. Therefore, millets supplement the nutritional security of both human as well as livestocks in such areas.

Government has announced an allocation of Rs. 300 crores in 2011-12 under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana for promotion of millets as Nutri-cereals. Scheme on Initiative for Nutrition Security through Intensive Millets Promotion has been formulated to operationalize the announcement. The scheme aims to demonstrate the improved production and post-harvest technologies in an integrated manner with visible impact to catalyze increased production of millets in the country. Besides increasing production of millets, the Scheme through processing and value addition techniques is expected to generate consumer demand for millet based food products. The Scheme will be implemented from Kharif 2011.

A key feature of INSIMP is giving input kits, comprising urea and pesticides; costing Rs 2,000-3,000 depending on the type of crop; and seed kits, comprising hybrid seeds to the farmers. These kits are supplied by nodal agencies in a state, and are, in turn, procured from various manufacturers. The other key aspect of the scheme is the post-harvest handling of millets, involving establishment of units for processing and value-addition. Composite millet processing centres, costing Rs 4,00,000, that handle de-stoning, de-hulling, flaking and rava- making, are to be established across the country towards this end.

Production programme:

Technology demonstrations in compact blocks would be organized in selected districts for four categories of millets – Sorghum, Pearl millet, Finger millet and Small millets.

1. Organizing demonstrations:

The districts with large crop area under millets (more than 10,000 ha area under sorghum & pearl millet, or more than 5,000 ha under finger millet or more than 2,000 ha area under small millets namely; barnyard, kodo, kutki, foxtail and proso) but with productivity less than that of the National Average Yield could be taken up for active promotion of production technologies through block demonstrations. However, in case of small millets, which have low productivity in general and are taken by resource poor tribal farmers in remote interior areas, production programme would be organized in all the identified districts irrespective of their productivity levels.

It is proposed to organize production programme in all 1118 units each with contiguous area of 1000 hectares for Sorghum / Pearl millet crops, 500 hectares for Finger millet crops or 200 hectares for small millets in the identified districts during 2011-12. Panchayati Raj Institutions would be involved in the selection of village units including the participating farmers. Details of crop and district-wise units is given in Annexure-I.

However, states would be given freedom to select the INSIMP unit based on availability of contiguous area in various villages of different blocks of the selected districts. Accordingly, the State would furnish a final list of districts as well as blocks in each district where INSIMP will be implemented.

2. Provisioning of inputs

Technology demonstration kits of critical inputs of nutrients and plant protection measures comprising of micro-nutrients, fungicides and bio-fertilizers, DAP, urea, potash and pesticides including weedicides at a total cost of Rs. 3,000/- per ha for sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet and Rs. 2,000/- per ha for small millets would be supplied to all the farmers in the units. These kits would be supplied free of cost to the beneficiary farmers subject to maximum area of 2 hectare.

The contents of the kits are only illustrative. All the components of the kits may not be required uniformly in all the States/crops. Therefore, States in consultation with their SAUs/ICAR Institutes may modify the content of the kit as per the local situation. The overall cost of the kit shall not exceed the specified limit Savings on account of reduced cost of kits, if any, can be used for taking up additional area under INSIMP.

Inputs under the Scheme should be supplied timely, in advance to the beneficiary farmers and shall be used only for production of millets.

To popularize the improved varieties/hybrids of millet crops, the farmers would also be given seed minikits for 0.40 ha area for every one hectare of area covered under INSIMP

The critical inputs in the form of free kits will be available to all the selected beneficiaries for area upto 2 hectares each.

3. Seed production

To promote new varieties/hybrids and to augment the availability of seed and to make the cost affordable to the farmers, it is proposed to provide an incentive of Rs. 3,000/- per quintal for hybrid and Rs. 1000/per quintal HYVs, of which 75% incentive would be passed on to the farmers and 25% to the seed producing agencies towards their handling and processing charges. The hybrids/varieties released during last 5 years would only qualify for the assistance. Seed production may be organised both under public and private sectors.

4. Post harvest and value addition

To address the issue of declining consumption demand for millets, following interventions would be supported.

a. Establishing Centres of Excellence

Three commodity-wise national demonstrations cum training centres would be set up at the Directorate of Sorghum Research (DSR), Hyderabad for sorghum; University of Agriculture Sciences, UAS, Bengaluru for finger millet and small millets and CCS Hisar Agriculture University, Hisar for pearl millet with the following objectives:-

  • Refinement of technology, retrofitting and their demonstration.
  • Providing entrepreneurship development and training.
  • Facilitate market linkages between processors and producers.

Each of these centres would function as a Centre of Excellence for the designated crop for the purpose of technology demonstration and capacity building for increasing production, processing unit for product development and value addition. These centres would be extended support on project basis, for which fund has been provisioned. Wherever, it is possible, these institutes would also facilitate marketing linkages for supply of the millet products.

b. Installation of pre-processing and processing small units

Demonstration-cum-training centre: One processing unit alongwith the services of one Technical Assistant purely on contract basis would be set up in selected 100 KVKs to serve as demonstration cum training centres for furtherance of post-harvest technologies. To utilise the full capacity of these processing unit, KVKs may levy nominal charges. A single complete post harvest processing cluster/unit at a total cost upto Rs 4.00 lakh will comprise of both primary processing (3-in-one destoner cum grader cum cleaner + Pearling machine) costing upto Rs. 2.0 lakhs and secondary processing machines ((Rava / Flaking machine – Jowar; Popping roaster- Ragi; Parboiling unit- Pearl millet) costing upto Rs 2.0 lakhs.

The capacity building of such KVKs would be organized at national labs and thereafter, these KVKs would organize the capacity building programme for entrepreneur /progressive farmers/NGOs, beneficiaries of post-harvest technologies.
These KVKs would be identified by the Directorate of Sorghum Research, Hyderabad in consultation with Project Coordinator (Pearl millet) and Project Coordinator (Small millets).

c. Promotion of technologies:

Apart from the 100 processing units set up in KVKs’ for demonstration, additional 180 such processing technologies would be made available to the local entrepreneur/progressive farmers/NGOs as an attachment to local processing units (chakki’s) on a pilot scale basis, as has been done under NAIP project by DSR (ICAR). Initially, available prototype may be installed in the potential areas for demonstration on 100% cost basis.

The States may develop the district-wise list of entrepreneurs/progressive farmers/NGOs and forward it to Directorate of Sorghum Research, Hyderabad and Directorate of Millets Development, Jaipur. Fund for this purpose is placed with the states and the KVKs would put up their action Plan before their respective SLSC for approval and release of fund.

5. Research Needs

  • It is proposed to establish processing clusters of sorghum in the areas where such pilot project has been implemented by DSR in collaboration with the State Department of Agriculture. These units will link production with processing, value addition and marketing in rural and urban niche health markets under the aegis of DSR on PPP mode. For this purpose, DSR may approach the respective SLSC with the action Plan for approval and release of fund.
  • The available processing technologies with CFTRI/CIPHET/SAUs of pearl millet and small millets including finger millet for product development will be collated by the concerned
  • Project Coordinators of ICAR and necessary support would be extended for replication of these technologies on project basis by the respective SLSC.
  • Support would be extended on project basis to R&D Institutions for pilot testing and up-scaling of the technology both for grain as well as derived product of millets to improve their shelf life.
  • Baseline data on consumption and demand of millets would be generated through outsourcing of a project under operation research.
  • Studies on bioavailability of minerals in millets and their benefits would be sponsored for clinical trials on a large scale through Research Institutions like National Institute of Nutrition.
  • Establishing scientific and empirical data for suitability of millets for climatic changes.

6. Awareness campaign (Media and publicity)

The states may organise awareness campaign to promote millets as food through:

  • Production of video-films and their broadcasting,
  • Use of electronic media (including print media & web promotions).
  • National and State events, organization of mobile millet food courts, millet food festivals millet Melas.
  • Inclusion of millets in Mid-day meals and other similar programmes for women and child development.
  • The States may involve SAUs/NGOs in creating awareness generation activities.
  • Action plan prepared by the states for this purpose would be placed before SLSC for approval and release of fund.

As envisaged in the scheme, the State Agricultural Universities are to be actively involved, especially in seed production, development of post harvest & value addition technologies and awareness campaign. The major constraint in consumption of millets is the drudgery associated with its processing. However, product variety is also a limitation. The Faculty of Home Science, ANGRAU, through its continuous and constant research efforts developed viable technologies to overcome the above constraints. Millet processing and value addition technologies were developed with the coordinated efforts of Department of Agriculture, Government of A.P.

Owing to this background the Faculty of Home Science, ANGRAU is involved in popularizing the consumption of millets throughout the state. Initiating from 2012, with a slogan, ‘your health our pride’, Millet festivals at state as well as regional levels are planned and organized involving millet promoting non-government organizations and entrepreneurs. Grand exhibition cum sale of millet products-grains, suji, flour and ready to eat & cook snacks were popularized.

Millet Fest 2013, is going to be organized from 30th March-1st April 2013, with the theme, Foster Millets for Food, Nutrition and Health Security.

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