Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for increasing millet production and inclusion of the nutri-cereals in the public distribution system (PDS) for tackling food security.
“Currently millet production has a share of 5-6% in the national food basket and there is a need to set achievable targets for increasing nutri-cereals output by scientists and experts,” Modi said at the inauguration of a Global Millet Conference in the national capital.
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Stressing that millets can be grown easily in adverse climatic conditions and without chemicals and fertilisers, Modi said India’s millets mission will benefit 25 million small and marginal farmers. He said the government has launched a production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for the food processing sector and companies should take advantage of the programme to increase production of millet-based products. Currently more than 500 startups are working on millets and several farmer producers organisations are engaged in millet production. Modi said the sale of millet food products has also seen a boost of roughly 30%.
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The PM unveiled a customised postal stamp and a Rs 75 currency coin for commemorating the International Year of Millets (IYMI)-2023 being celebrated by the United Nations General Assembly. A book on millet standards was released, while Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Millets Research was declared as a global centre of excellence.