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Comprehensive Revival of Millets Cultivation by Tribals

Comprehensive Revival of Millets Cultivation by Tribals

Summary of the Initiative

State Government of Andhra Pradesh launched a program on Comprehensive Revival of Millets Cultivation by tribals in north Coastal Andhra and parts of Rayalaseema in 2016. It is an end-to-end program on Millets Revival in Andhra Pradesh which intends to develop tribal, and rain fed areas into Millet-Hubs that can potentially supply millets, increase demand and find its place in the grain economy.

Situation before Initiative

The area under millets is estimated to have reduced by 70% over the past two decades due to change in the food habits of the tribal people. Little millet and pearl millet used to be staple crops in earlier days as part of the food and nutrition security of the tribal people.

Nature of Initiative

The State Government implemented a comprehensive project for revival of millet cultivation by tribal people in North Coastal Andhra and parts of Rayalaseema. This project aims to increase productivity, household consumption, value addition by making ragi biscuits, idli and dosas, marketing support, setting up of processing centers and establishing seed production centers. It is implemented through the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), WASSAN as a lead technical agency and NGOs as facilitating agencies. The objective is to promote millet food tradition across all levels and help people drive home the message of long-term benefits of including power-packed millets in the diet. A Millets Promotion Board was established in the State, and a committee was formed for declaring the MSP for Sorghum. A technical committee was also formed for millets production and other aspects of millets.

Procurement of millets was done through MARKFED and FPOs. A book on Millet Recipes was published in Telugu language. A pilot for inclusion of Millet recipe for pregnant and lactating women was initiated. The Scheme focused on launching awareness campaigns to encourage tribal people to improve food and nutritional security and convert North Coastal Andhra into a millet hub. The main components of the program are as follows:

Impact of Initiative

Millet’s production increased to about 5000 per Mandal i.e. about 2.35 lakh quintals (23500MT) for the State3. Household millet consumption increased in about one lakh households. It created ripple and multiplying effects as surplus production was available for Public Distribution System (PDS)/ Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)/ Mid-Day-Meal (MDM) inclusion. Further, local millet processing enterprises have been scaled up and millet markets/value chains have been established for better value realization for farmers. Initial trials in small millet intensification on lines of System of Ragi Intensification in finger millet showed positive results (wider spacing, early seedling, mechanical weeding, application of Jeevamrutam etc.). Awareness campaigns like millet festival at National Centre for Management of Agricultural Extension, Hyderabad showed positive impact.

In total 7 districts, 44 mandals and 35 NGOs were involved in the program, which helped in promoting the millets cultivation in 28,000 acres of land and promoting a system of millets intensification (SMI) in 4000 acres of land. Many entrepreneurships started working in millet value addition- Kovel Foundation in specific is implementing the millets program in Ananthagiri mandal covering 64 habitations in 10 gram panchayats4

Source : Promoting Millets in Diets - Best Practices across States/UTs of India - A NITI Aayog publication

Last Modified : 5/2/2023



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