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Torch bearers for millet seed security

Jan 19, 2014: The National Biodiversity Authority has recognised 30 villages in Zaheerabad of Medak district of Andhra Pradesh that grow traditional and fast-disappearing millets as Agricultural Biodiversity Heritage Site (ABHS). The Andhra Pradesh State Biodiversity Board (APSBB), which finally gave green signal for the rare recognition, has sent its recommendation to the National Biodiversity Board, which has approved the proposal making these villages to become first villages in India to be recognized as ABHS. “The file is now with the agricultural department. By the end of January we will announce these villages as ABHS with or without their opinion,” a determined APSBB Chairman Dr R Hampaiah says. Thus, the […]

Blinkered focus on cereals

http://www.indiatogether.org/2012/jun/pov-nutrients1.htm 22 June 2012 – A national consultation of health experts has called for a stop to the history of bad science and misconceived advice that has long dominated India’s nutrition policies. They stress the need to “put nutrition back into our food” and understand what it would mean to initiate comprehensive policies that enable the healthy survival of India’s children. The government’s effort to combat India’s malnutrition crisis has long focused on providing cereals, in the belief that the body only needs calories – energy rich foods – to grow and survive. This erroneous thinking is severely damaging the health of India’s poor, who are slipping deeper into a malnutrition […]

India’s First National Convention of Millet Farmers: Report

India’s First National Convention of Millet Farmers was organized on October 16-17, 2011 at University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka. full report below: http://www.ddsindia.com/www/pdf/NC%20Dharwad.pdf

Emulate DDS: Minister

Staff Reporter Decorated bullock-carts being taken in a procession at DDS programme on bio-diversity at Pastapur in Medak on Monday. —PHOTO: MOHD ARIF Finally, women working to protect nature and making efforts for self-sustenance under the guidance of Deccan Development Society (DDS) led by its director P.V. Satheesh, are set get due recognition. Major Industries Minister J. Geeta Reddy, who participated as a chief guest in the concluding programme of the Bio-diversity Festival at this remote village in Medak district on Monday said that it had been decided to emulate the example of millet cultivation with organic forming across the district. The farmers from other areas would be called here […]

TNAU develops ready-to-cook pearl millet mix

Times of India, 11 February 2012 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/TNAU-develops-ready-to-cook-pearl-millet-mix/articleshow/11844389.cms COIMBATORE: The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has been granted a patent for producing a ready-to-cook mix from pearl millet (cumbu). The Patent Office of Chennai, Government of India, granted the first of its kind patent on January 12. Pearl millet (cumbu in Tamil and bajra in the North) is an important millet occupying more than 55% of the global production. Because of the availability of rice in ready-to-cook form, the usage of millets has got decreased. Moreover, the traditional method of preparing food from pearl millet involves a cumbersome process, which is another reason for decline in consumption of pearl millet. Therefore, TNAU […]

Adding millets to the basket

To improve food security and to bring extensive lands now left fallow into cultivation again, the government must support millets just as it supports rice and wheat. Karuna M reports. http://www.indiatogether.org/2011/dec/pov-millets.htm 31 December 2011 – Recently, IIT-Delhi and the University of Allahabad carried out a survey of the Public Distribution System (PDS) across nine states in India. More than 1200 people living in small villages across the country were interviewed. A number of findings from this survey are noteworthy, in light of recent demands to ‘reform’ the food security system in the country. The survey found that the PDS is functioning remarkably well even in states where it was dismal in the recent […]

Policy Brief on Future Outlook and Options for Target Crops: The Sorghum and Pearl millet economy of India

Policy Brief on Future Outlook and Options for Target Crops: The Sorghum and Pearl millet economy of India download More  than  60  percent  of  the  area  in  India  is  cultivated  under  arid  and  semiarid conditions  which  provide  around  40  percent  of  the  food  production.  Farmers  here  are exposed  to  harsh  agro  climatic  conditions,  as  they  have  to  cultivate  shallow  and  poor  soils, under  drought  prone  conditions  receiving  low  and  erratic rainfall  below  600  mm.  Recurrent drought  coupled  with  frequent  dry  spells  further  exacerbate  the  situation.  In  the  last  few decades  these  regions  are  facing  a  shrinking  natural  resource  base  and  land  degradation, resulting  in  low  productivity  in  crop  and  livestock  sector.  This  in  turn  is  contributing  to poverty,  malnutrition  and indebtedness  of  small  […]

Millets body launches Take Voices campaign seeking inclusion in food bill

Nandita Vijay, Bangalore http://www.fnbnews.com/article/print.asp?articleid=30906 Millets Network of India (MNI) is aggressively working to ensure that millets are included in food grains in the National Food Security Bill (FSB). In this regard, it has initiated a national campaign – Take Voices to MPs – wherein the public has been asked to send postcards and emails to them highlighting the benefits of millets in daily diets and their indispensability to the public distribution system (PDS). “During the winter session of Parliament, the crucial Food Security Bill is due to be discussed and we wish to emphasise upon them, the importance of the provision that talks of including millets in food grains. The […]


HUBLI, JUNE 14: “Millet cultivation provides farmers more economic stability than commercial crops,” said Mr P.V. Satish, Convenor, Millet Network of India (MNI). Speaking at the millet food festival at Dharwad, he said, “It is a mere myth that commercial crops benefit the farmers monetarily. Instead, it is found that farmers who committed suicides due to agrarian crisis were the ones who went for commercial crops and not traditional crops like millet.” Citing statistics to prove a point, Mr Satish said that the maximum yield per acre for commercial crops such as the Bt cotton was 5-6 quintals and the gross income was Rs 10,000-12,000 an acre. The net income […]

MILLET REVOLUTION Winning the battle against hunger, silently

Revival of millet cultivation in Medak of Andhra shows how a variety of millets can fight hunger even during drought, keep farmers debt-free, and provide the much-needed nutrition without using pesticides, reports,  Ramesh Menon. http://www.indiatogether.org/2010/apr/agr-millets.htm 19 April 2010 – Be it poor soil conditions or underdeveloped areas in India where agriculture solely depended on the mercy of rain gods, millet cultivation was going on unhindered. Thanks to the Green Revolution in the 60s, despite the immense diversity of agricultural crops, rice and wheat became staple crops and the age-old farming tradition got uprooted even before the farmers realized the adverse consequences of adapting to water-intensive cultivation.

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