Coarse grains got international recognition due to India’s efforts

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Coarse grains i.e. grains are becoming the choice of the world today. It is the result of forward-looking thinking that today the entire world is celebrating 2023 as International Millet Year. Considering the importance and nutritional value of coarse grain, it was called Shri Anna. If we look at it, when in 2018 India launched a worldwide campaign to declare millet as a nutritious grain, then it was not completely sure that the United Nations would understand the importance of millet and declare 2023 as the International Millet Year. It also seemed almost impossible that the countries of the world would become aware of coarse grains so soon. In fact, due to our eating habits, people have started suffering from diseases one after the other, in such a situation, coarse grains have emerged as a better option. But the way in which coarse grains have been promoted through campaigns, coarse grains have started being praised in the country and abroad. Due to obesity, diabetes, lack of vitamins, increasing heart diseases, anemia, digestive problems and calcium deficiency or rather the body becoming hollow even after eating well, people have now started looking for alternatives in coarse grains, moving away from medicines based on chemicals. Are. Millet, the main Kharif crop, is going to be produced more this year. Farmers are excited about this while startups and food processing units are very excited.

In fact, till the sixth-seventh decade of the last century, the main food of our country, especially in the villages, was coarse grains. In the 1960s, the era of Green Revolution started as an alternative to the food crisis and in such a situation, increasing food grain production became the first priority and for this wheat was considered the main option. After this, on one hand, the era of wheat import, increasing wheat production and chemical fertilizers started in the name of increasing production. The publicity system was made aggressive to promote the use of chemical fertilizers and today, due to the hard work of our agricultural scientists, policy makers and farmers, the country has become self-sufficient in food grains. From the Corona tragedy till now, the availability of free food grains has become a great support to the needy people. Green Revolution was the need of the time and is still there. But now due to the ill effects of excessive use of chemical fertilizers and being plagued by new diseases every day, the entire world is looking for alternatives and the countries of the world are seeing millets as a better option and hope. There is no doubt that there was a time when coarse grains were the staple food. Even today, our country’s share in the total coarse grains produced in the world is 41 percent. Major states are Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh etc. Today, India is also a major country in the export of coarse grains. Last year, coarse grains worth $26.9 million were exported to America from our country. Roughly 13 types of grains are considered as millets. Of these, mainly 8 grains are considered – millet, ragi, kutki, swa, jowar, kangani, chena and kondon. According to the first estimate of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare for the year 2023-24, the production of Kharif nutritious coarse grains is estimated at 351.37 lakh tonnes, which is slightly higher than the average coarse grains of 350.91 lakh tonnes. The production of Shree Anna during the year 2023-24 is estimated at 126.55 lakh metric tonnes.

Worldwide efforts to promote millets have begun. Young entrepreneurs are coming forward through startups. People have also started liking millet recipe. People have started understanding their importance. People of the older generation will remember that there was a time especially in Rajasthan when wheat chapati was made only when guests came to the house. Gradually both the production and utilization of coarse grains got affected. All this happened while the cultivation of coarse grains like millet etc. requires less water and less cost, while on the other hand, coarse grains are rich in natural health enhancing elements and scientists are proving their usefulness today. Since farming is done according to the season, the quality of the crops is also determined by the use of the produce after it is ripe and reaches the market. Coarse grains, especially millet, are the main Kharif crops. Now it can be easily understood that when the Kharif crop is ripe and ready, by that time the winter season starts. There is no need to tell how healthy millet is in winter, but in summer, millet rabri has its own identity. See the change in times that the food of the village poor has today become a luxury dish in five star hotels. If millet khichdi or buttermilk-rabri is being served prominently in weddings, then its meaning also needs to be understood.

Continuous improvements are taking place in the agriculture sector in the country. The agriculture budget is being increased significantly year after year. Now the new challenge before the agricultural scientists is to develop improved and quality varieties of coarse grains which is being encouraged by the government, research and research in this field is being promoted and farmers are being given more resources to increase the production of coarse grains. Coordinated efforts are being made to motivate more. Today the countries of the world are once again seeing coarse grains as the grain of the future, hence coordinated efforts are being made to increase the production of coarse grains in the countries of the world.

-Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sharma

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