Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to promote the production and consumption of millets and to make it a mass movement, a government official said.
In the letter, Baghel urged the PM to include 20-25 per cent millets in the subsidised food grains being distributed under the National Food Security Act, mid-day meal schemes, nutritious food provided by the Women and Child Development departments and subsidised food grains being given to students in ashram-hostels, the official informed.
Baghel also sought permission for states to buy millets under minimum support price and to supply it at subsidised rates, he said. The year 2023 has been declared as 'International Millet Year' by the United Nations on the initiative of the the Indian government and such crops can play an important role in controlling anaemia and malnutrition, the letter said.
In the letter, the CM said millets had suffered a drop in production due to lack of marketing, adding that his government had started the 'Millet Mission'. The state government had also declared the minimum support price of ragi and was taking concrete arrangements to collect and market it, the CM informed in the letter.
"A subsidy of Rs 9,000 per acre is being given to millet crop producers in Chhattisgarh as compared to other states. Due to this, the area and production of millet crops have increased more than two times in the state in the last two years," Baghel said.