Millet Production

The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) is implementing a Sub-Mission on Nutri-Cereals (Millets) under National Food Security Mission (NFSM) to enhance area, production & productivity of millets including bajra. Under this Sub-Mission, bajra is being promoted in 89 districts of 9 states including 14 districts of Gujarat. North Eastern States, Himachal Pradesh and UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh have been given flexibility to include the districts under programme. Through the efforts made by the Government, the production of millets has increased from 14.52 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 17.96 million tonnes in 2020-21. The production of bajra has also increased from 8.07 million tonnes to 10.86 million tonnes during the same period. The State Governments can also promote cultivation of millets and bajra under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana – Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture & Allied sector Rejuvenation (RKVY- RAFTAAR) with the approval of the State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC) constituted under the chairmanship of the chief secretary of the State.

In view of the nutritional value of the millets, the Government has notified millets as nutri-cereals in April, 2018. The Millets are a rich source of Protein, Fibre, Minerals, Iron, Calcium and have a low glycemic index. The National Year of Millets was celebrated in 2018. To create domestic and global demand and to provide nutritional food to the people, Government of India had proposed to United Nations for declaring 2023 as International Year of Millets (IYoM). The proposal of India was supported by 72 countries and United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) declared 2023 as International Year of Millets in March, 2021. The Government is popularizing nutri-cereals through Research & Development support and has established 3 Centres of Excellence (CoE). Support is also given to start-ups and entrepreneurs for developing recipes & value added products that promotes consumption of millets. 8 bio-fortified varieties/hybrids of Bajra have been released for cultivation from 2018 to till date.

In order to facilitate the movement of the millets, Government has already revised the guidelines for movement of the surplus production of millets to other states. The provision of inter-state transportation of surplus millets through Food Corporation of India (FCI) is incorporated to cater for advance demand placed by consuming state before the start of procurement.

This information was given by Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.



(Release ID: 1796559)
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A millet de-huller brings fortunes through value-added products in rural Uttarakhand

Packaged and branded Millet-based cookies, rusks, snacks, and breakfast cereal from rural areas around Dehradun in Uttarakhand are making their way to rural, urban, and regional markets in surrounding areas, potentially turning the fortunes of millet farmers in these areas and reviving Millet cultivation in the region. 

At the centre of this change is a Multi-feed millet De-huller that has simplified the lengthy and laborious traditional process of removing the husk from millets, raised the productivity, and delivered value-added millet flour at the village or cluster-of-villages level, from which further value-added products can also be made.

Cultivation of millets have long been declining due to declining consumer demand and preference for major cereals like rice and wheat. Of late, however, millets and other nutri-cereals are regaining popularity due to their health benefits, but packaged products with consumer appeal are yet to make a sufficient mark in the market. Technologies for making these in rural areas are also underdeveloped. A critical operation is removing the husk, which, if done manually by pounding, involves much drudgery, particularly for women who usually perform this task.

The Center for Technology Development (CTD), a division of the Society for Economic & Social Studies, a Core Support Group under TARA scheme of Science for Equity Empowerment and Development (SEEDDivision, Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, has adapted the Multi-feed millet De-huller developed by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University & Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering. The De-huller design has been tweaked to enable simple adjustments that enable the use of the same machine to remove the husk of multiple millets such as Finger Millet (ragi in the South or mandua in Uttarakhand), Barnyard Millet (jhangora in UK), and some other millets elsewhere.  

The Millet De-huller forms a key part of the hallmark CTD/SESS hub-and-spoke rural enterprise model for producing value-added Millet products. The model consists of a hub or ‘Mother’ Unit, located at CTD/SESS Campus in Sahaspur P.O., networking with modular ‘Satellite’ Units run by SHGs/FPOs or small entrepreneurs in decentralized locations where Millets are cultivated.

‘Satellite’ units at cluster-of-villages level use the De-huller to yield value-added de-husked Millets, which are then further processed using a Grinder to yield value-added millet flour, which can be used to make a variety of products. The De-huller can de-husk 100 kg grain per hour with a yield of 90-95% and, together with the Grinder, provides a common facility for villagers to make flour either for consumption or sale at minimum double the price of de-husked millet.

The flour can also be supplied to the CTD/SESS ‘mother unit’, which has a full-fledged tiny Bakery Unit with de-scaled machines to make value-added finished and packaged products.   

This technology package and enterprise model generates considerable employment and income in rural areas, particularly among small farmers who constitute a majority of millet farmers. The De-huller significantly empowers women by removing drudgery from de-husking and aiding in income generation in women-headed households common in Uttarakhand due to out-migration of men-folk. Collective operations by women’s SHGs further empower women by enabling independent work outside the home and interaction with the market.  In the long run, revival of Millet cultivation will also assist in building climate-resilient agriculture and, along with related value-addition, may also help to address the problem of male out-migration.

At present, 5 more satellite units at different development stages are operational in different areas involving around 400 millet farmers. This technology package and enterprise model is ideal for small-farmer Self Help Groups, Farmer Producers organisations, and small rural entrepreneurs, with products catering to both local rural markets and more up-market urban or regional consumers.        

CTD/SESS is currently working with local fabricators to develop capability to manufacture the De-Hulling Machine. Efforts are also underway to develop a small gas or biomass oven that can be used even at the satellite units for making simple value-added products for the local market.

 For more details, please contact Dr D. Raghunandan ( Centre for Technology & Development, Society for Economic & Social Studies.              

Millet De-Huller and glimpses of the value-added products at the millet de-hulling facility by CTD/SESS, Core Group, SEED, DST.



       RP (DST Media Cell release)

(Release ID: 1710437)
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