Chandigarh. The mission of bringing back millets in your food plate is going to start in Punjab from tomorrow. A state-level program will be organized in Faridkot on June 20 under the chairmanship of Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan, starting the initiative of Aahar Se Arogya. Kheti Virasat Mission (KVM) has been at the forefront of the organic farming movement in Punjab. For the past 16 years, KVM has executed various projects in the areas of safe food, holistic health and revitalization of millets. While recognizing the need for an alternative model of sustainable agriculture for the state of Punjab, KVM is launching its initiative to successfully celebrate the International Millets Year 2023.
Giving information on the occasion, KVM Executive Director, Umendra Dutt mentioned that the cultivation of millets dates back to the time when wheat and rice occupied a very small percentage of the total cultivated area. Kodra, Swank, Kangni, Kutki, Ragi, Bajra, Jowar were the prevalent crops of Punjab and Haryana. The ‘Green Revolution’ wiped out these eco-smart crops and replaced them with paddy requiring maximum water.
He also stressed on the fact that paddy cultivation has brought nothing but calamity for the state of Punjab and it is time to implement an alternative farming model and see how millets farming provides that option. A climate smart dry season crop, millets can grow easily in Punjab’s Kharif or Monsoon season. These crops do not require any pesticides to grow and they can be grown in all types of soils.
The program will be in these 3 categories
Engage, Promote and Collaborate. Giving details of this, Dutt explained how KVM along with civil society will make people aware about the importance of millets. He will also build and promote the supply chain to bring Punjab’s mills to the retail market. Possibilities of cooperation with the State and Central Governments will also be explored for implementing various programs under the International Millets Year 2023.
Dr. Khadar Wali, also known as the Millets Man of India, who was present on the occasion, named it a miracle grain known for its ability to nourish and heal the body. Rich in fibre, minerals and proteins, these grains are a powerhouse of nutrition. Dr Khader also talked about the special Millets diet which can treat and manage the prevalent lifestyle diseases like Diabetes, Blood Sugar, Hypertension, Hyperthyroidism etc.
Dr. Khadar Wali will visit Punjab for the next two days and deliver lectures and interact with the public, health experts and farmers to spread the message of adopting millets in our diet.
Umendra Dutt concluded by saying that Kheti Virasat Mission firmly believes that the revival of this miracle grain will have a positive impact on the soil, health and water crisis of Punjab. While Dr. Amar Singh Azad said that food is medicine, Kheti Virasat Mission under the guidance of Dr. Khadar Wali has been trying for years to make Punjabis their basic diet of millets and efforts are being made in this mission. It is being made to take all the countrymen along.
FIRST PUBLISHED : June 19, 2022, 21:01 IST