Millet to be cultivated in 350 hectares
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 23 2024: Considering the changing climatic conditions and the scanty rainfall witnessed during the last Kharif season, preparations have been initiated for cultivation of millet in around 350 hectares which are not suitable enough for paddy cultivation.

A workshop cum training of farmers on millet was held today at the Directorate of Agriculture, Sanjenthong.

The workshop cum training programme organised by the Department of Agriculture and participated by farmers from different parts of the State was opened by Agriculture Director N Gojendro.

Speaking at the inaugural session, N Gojendro said that the workshop cum training was organised considering the necessity to impart adequate knowledge to the people, particularly farmers about where and how millet can be cultivated, how much time it takes, which varieties can be cultivated in the State and what are its nutritional values.

Millet to be cultivated in 350 hectares
Millet to be cultivated in 350 hectares

The workshop cum training programme does not mean all the farmers engaged in paddy cultivation must switch to millet.

Farmers may continue paddy cultivation if their fields have enough water or access to irrigation facilities.

Millet may be cultivated on those comparatively elevated fields which do not have enough water, said the Agriculture Director.

Millet is cultivated in Manipur too though in restricted areas.

He said that similar training programmes on millet cultivation would be organised in different districts of the State and the department would extend all possible assistance to farmer groups interested in cultivating millet.

Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER) Project Officer Dr Kh Nimaichand said that due preparations have been initiated for cultivation of millet in 300 hectares after selecting around 300 farmers.

Another 50 farmers have been already selected under the Agriculture Department's 'Promotion of Millet Programme' for cultivation of millet in 40 hectares.

As such, millet would be cultivated in 350 hectares this year, Dr Nimaichand said.

NERAMAC and APEDA have been already contacted for marketing millet produced in Manipur, he said.

Compared to paddy, millet requires much less volume of water.

On the other hand, paddy farmers are encountering increasing difficulties on account of climate change.

Paddy yield has declined considerably in many areas due to scanty rainfall or inaccessibility to irrigation facilities, Nimaichand said.

On account of the vagaries of monsoon, paddy could not be cultivated in around 12,000 hectares during the last Kharif season.

If millet is cultivated in such areas which do not have access to enough volume of water, farmers will be able to reap high yield and this would increase their income, he said.

Studies done by experts have confirmed that millet can be cultivated in those places where paddy and wheat cannot be cultivated due to the changing climatic conditions and scanty rainfall, Dr Nimaichand asserted.

Consumption of millet on a regular basis can control blood sugar level and protect oneself from hypertension, he said.

Informing that production of different food items from millet has already begun in Manipur, Dr Nimaichand said that they have been working to promote consumption of millet in the State.

Agriculture Deputy Director AK Chittaranjan said that millet was cultivated in Manipur in the past, and it is suitable to the soil of Manipur.

On account of the global population growth, food production must also rise correspondingly.

At the same time, many areas where paddy and wheat were cultivated earlier are no longer suitable for these crops owing to climate change.

In the face of the changing climatic conditions, millet is a much better option at these places, Chittaranjan said.

Millet is an anti-oxidant and it has plenty of protein minerals and fibres.

Regular consumption of millet can keep away many common diseases and ailments.

Millet is used in manufacturing different types of medicines, he said.

Agriculture Deputy Director Ph Joyprakash too spoke at the event.

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