To promote healthy and indigenous food grains, the Uttar Pradesh government has introduced millets in the flagship midday meals provided to government school children.
The millets have been incorporated in the midday meal scheme in the form of ‘Bajra Khichdi’ (millet porridge).
This is expected to help millet farmers considering the large number of children in UP benefitting with the midday meals.
While the state government is already procuring maize and bajra at the minimum support price (MSP), it has decided to purchase ‘jowar’ along with paddy at MSP starting this kharif season.
Now, the state millet farmers will get better prices due to the sudden spurt in demand for the indigenous food grains. This will in turn lead to higher millet acreage and production.
Millets are considered good for agro-economy since they require less water than other cereals. These food grains can thrive without fertilisers or pesticides even in poor soil conditions.
As such, they turn out to be an economical crop for farmers in dry regions as well as to deal with the menace of climate change.