Union Budget 2023-24 focuses on making India global millet hub

Government to support Hyderabad-based millet institute as centre of excellence

As per the Union Budget for 2023-24 presented by the Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman on 1st February 2023, India is envisioned to become a global hub for Shri Anna or Millets, with the country being the largest producer and second largest exporter of millets.

To make India a global hub for millet research, the Indian Institute of Millet Research (IIMR) in Hyderabad will be made into a Centre of Excellence.

“The institute will be supported as the Centre of Excellence for sharing best practices, research and technologies at the international level,” the Minister said.

The FM listed out various millets such as Jowar, Ragi, Ramdana, Cheena, Sama, Bajra, Kutu, Kangni etc., and stated that they have various health benefits.

Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) is a premier agricultural research institute engaged in basic and strategic research on sorghum and other millets under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). IIMR coordinates and facilitates millets research at national level through All India Coordinated Research Projects on Sorghum, Pearl Millet and Small Millets and provides linkages with various national and international agencies.

According to analytics firm CRISIL, “The setting up of a Centre of Excellence for Millets, which have high nutritional content, will help increase the share of gross sown area under millets, which today stands at a mere 3% of total gross cropped area.”

The Minister also said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, government ensured that no one goes to bed hungry, with a scheme to supply free food grains to over 80 crore  persons for 28 months. Continuing with Centre’s commitment to ensure food and nutritional security, the government is implementing, from 1st January 2023, a scheme to supply free food grain to all Antyodaya and priority households for the next one year, under PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY). The entire expenditure of about Rs 2 lakh crore will be borne by the Central Government.

Image credit- shutterstock

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