Farming and procurement of coarse grains needs to be increased
"Time has come to revise norms to incentivise the farming and distribution of Coarse grains in India "- said Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public, Railways and Commerce & Industry, while reviewing the policy frame work for procurement, distribution and disposal of coarse food grains.
He said that farming and procurement of coarse grains needs to be increased in a planned manner.
The meeting was attended by senior officials of Department of Food & Public distribution and several departments under Agriculture Ministry. It may be noted that Makka, Jwar, Bajra, Ragi etc are not only good for health but good for agricultural economy as well.
Recently, the Prime Minister had announced the need for the promotion of Millets in the country. The UN General Assembly also declared year 2023 as “International Year of Millets”. In view of this revision in Policy Guidelines for procurement, distribution and disposal of coarse grains were required.
The Minister said that revision of norms will result in encouraging procurement of coarse grain. Production of coarse grains being nutritious food results in sustainable agriculture development, and diversification of crops, their procurement needs to be encouraged. Permission to procure will be given only after previous stocks have been disposed of to avoid possible recycling. Interstate movement as per requirement of consuming state.
Millets are grown on marginal and un-irrigated land and procurement will help in doubling farmers income. Millets are more nutritious and hence would help India fight against malnutrition, Millets are more environment friendly and hence help in promoting sustainable agriculture and in preservation of environment, Local procurement and local consumption will save transportation and avoidable movement of other cereals and Shelf life of some coarse grains is more than three months. Coarse grains are procured by State Government Agencies/FCI from farmers as per extant guidelines.
The major coarse grains crop covered under Minimum Support Price (MSP) are Jowar (Hybrid), Jowar (Maldandi), Bajra, Ragi, Maize and Barley. All millets, Maize and Barely are known as Coarse grains.In India, total 3,04,914 farmers have been benefitted during KMS 2020-21. Total of 1162886 (11.62 LMT) coarse grains have been procured during year 2020-21.
As per the present Guideline for Coarse Grain dated 21.03.2014, the procurement period given to the State Government should not go beyond three months and the second condition to stipulate that procurement period should also not go beyond one month from end of normal period of harvesting of concerned crop in the State. A maximum of 6 months’ time is provided to the States for procurement and distribution of coarse grains through Public Distribution System (PDS).