ZIRO- The International Year of Millets was celebrated in a befitting manner at Abotani Hall in Ziro, the district HQ of Lower Subansiri district today.
Organized by the Department of Agriculture, the event included one-day awareness campaign on the importance of millets, exhibitions and display of millet food products, farmers’ awareness and interaction sessions with scientists and subject experts and buyer sellers’ meet.
Inaugurating the event, Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Bamin Nime said millet was once upon a time considered poor man’s food in comparison to rice. However, with the change of time and food habits, millets have now become an essential food item considering its high nutritional and health benefits, he explained. Nime also informed that he is an avid advocate of the ‘vocal for local’ concept and serves snacks made out of millets and local rice powder to guests at District Secretariat and Subansiri Sadan.
Exhorting the farmers to take up millet cultivation seriously particularly Ziro farmers in face of paucity of land at Ziro valley, Nime also appealed the unemployed youth to take up farming for their self-employment and income generation in face of declining white-collared jobs.
Highlighting the importance of the day, Lower Subansiri District Agriculture Officer Tasso Butung informed that the United Nations General Assembly had declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYM) which was a vision and initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The DAO informed that Lower Subansiri had been given the opportunity to host the meet involving farmers from the five Districts of Lower Subansiri, Upper Subansiri, Kamle, Kra-Dadi and Kurung Kumey. He also informed that similar awareness campaigns at the block levels would soon be conducted at Yazali, Yachuli, Talo and Param Putu circles.
Explaining further importance of millet, the DAO informed that millet was a ‘hardy crop’ which is perfect for cultivation at a hilly state like Arunachal Pradesh. Millet, which is more nutritious than rice due to its high food value content can be grown in any place either plain or hilly and it does not require much water and fertilizers to grow, he explained.
Outlining the upcoming further activities, the DAO informed that during May and June the Department would be training the farmers on millet harvesting, threshing, post-harvest techniques, awareness and training on value addition, processing, packaging and branding. During July, August and September farmers would be trained on sorting, grading, and packaging while field visits, monitoring, stakeholders meet and exploring markets would also be organized.
During October, November and December there would be state and district level review of the programme, pilot project on setting up of processing units in potential Districts, evolve marketing strategy and review of the activities and plan for sustaining the growth of millets for future.
Among others, Lower Subansiri Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Officer Dr. Hano Tama, PHED & WS Executive Engineer Kago Habung, Farmer’s Training Centre Peripatetic Training Officer Leegang Anya, senior scientist and head of Krishi Vighyan Kendra Yachuli Dr. Hage Munth, Horticulture scientist of KVK Yachuli Dr.S.K Chaturvedi, farmers, members of several SHG’s and millet lover citizens of the District attended the meet.