Why our plates, fields must have more millets than rice

From the field to the plate, there are many benefits of moving away from paddy-centric cultivation and consumption patterns for farmers and consumers in Tamil Nadu. Experts say increasing cultivation and consumption of alternative crops like milletspulses, fruits and vegetables will not just yield nutritional benefits, but also help farmers achieve sustainable usage of water resources.
The state government has launched several policies to increase cultivation and consumption of millets in the recent years. But Dr P Devasenapathy, head, Agronomy, at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University says it is difficult for farmers who have practice and experience in growing paddy for years,to change cropping pattern, unless the situation is dire. "Faced with water scarcity, many farmers in the recent years have dug borewells. But if the water supply dips further, wherever possible, farmers should switch to alternative crops such as vegetables, maize, millets," he adds.

Dr P Parasuraman, who heads TNAU's Centre of Excellence for Millets, says there are several ongoing studies on increasing cultivation of alternate grains and government support to improve processing facilities is gaining momentum. "If the rains fail, cultivating paddy is a problem.....Read more


Source web page:Times of India

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