The International Year of Millets – 2023 is being celebrated globally in all the countries including India. On the initiative of Birsa Agriculture University (BAU) Vice-Chancellor (VC), ON Singh said, on Tuesday, that there is a possibility of promotion of millet crop in the State due to the successful performance of scientists in the research of millet crop in the current summer.
Directorate of Agriculture, Jharkhand is likely to decide the strategy of the road map related to millets in the entire State in the State level Kharif Workshop-cum-Millets Mission program on May 17.
In the meeting of Kharif Research Council to be held on May 20 and May 21 under the chairmanship of BAU VC and in the upcoming meeting of Extension Council, the strategy of special research and extension program for the entire State will be decided. Whereas, in the recently held meeting of the Seed Council, a strategy has been decided for maximum production of quality breeder seeds, foundation seeds and certified seeds of millet crops in BAU subordinate seed production units. There is a plan to promote the cultivation of millet crops in the State by organizing workshops at the State and National levels, through KVKs, through extensive awareness campaigns and demonstrations.
Singh said that millets have been cultivated in the State since ancient times. “During the Green Revolution, the cultivation of millets was adversely affected. Ragi, Jowar and Bajra and others are the main food crops in Millets in the State and Madua is cultivated in coarse grains in more or less all the districts,” he added.
The VC said that in place of traditional cultivation of local varieties, more yield and profit can be obtained by scientific cultivation of advanced varieties at much less cost. “Under the ICAR-All India Coordinated Research Small Millet Project, conducted under the BAU, the yield potential of improved varieties has been found up to 30 quintals per hectare in the experiments done in the farmers' fields and in the experimental fields. In years of research, BAU scientists have achieved success in developing 4 high yielding advanced varieties suited to the State,” he added.
The products of Millets crops are being promoted through processing and value addition in the Community Science Department of the University. A total of 300 rural women from different districts have benefited in practical training programs last year. Information on making, packaging and marketing dozens of value added products of millets is given by the experts. Agriculture graduate students are also told about processing and value addition of millets crops.
Farmers of the State can buy free technical information and certified seeds at fixed rates from the Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Seed and Field Directorate and Krishi Vigyan Kendras of the University.