“The Union Government has declared 2023 Year of Millets. A series of programs will be launched to promote millet and other nutritious grains across the country,” Union State Minister for Agriculture Shobha Karandlaje said on Sunday.
These programs will focus on increasing the area under millet and ensuring that millet farmers get remunerative prices for their produce, she said.
She was speaking after the launch of works on the farmers’ hostel and staff quarters at the KLE Society’s Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) campus in Mattikoppa village in Belagavi district.
She said the government was increasing agricultural research grants to ensure the welfare of farmers.
The central government is increasing research grants to ₹1.32 crore lakh from ₹23,000 crore in recent years. Of this amount, around ₹800 crore is earmarked for the development of new agricultural technologies. More than 70% of the population depends on agriculture and agriculture contributes 22% of the GDP.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi dreams of doubling farmers’ incomes and wants India to be among the top 10 agricultural exporting countries. We are already the ninth largest food producing country. We want to train farmers in food processing and value addition, so that their incomes increase,” she said.
The granting of agricultural loans at 3% interest is part of the programs aimed at strengthening farmers, he said. Farmers will also be encouraged to grow palm and green manures, she said.
KLE Chairman Prabhakar Kore urged the minister to help KVK set up facilities to preserve agricultural products and food processing units. We help exporting farmers to export agricultural products and oilseeds, he said.
MLA Mahantesh Dodagoudar, ICAR Scientist V. Venkatasubramanya, KVK Director BR Patil, Principal Sridevi Angadi and others were present.