Skip to main content

Faced with water crisis, Karnataka now wants to revive millet cultivation (downtoearth,)

Faced by drought, erratic rain and unusually long spell of hot weather, Karnataka is now focussing on “rebuilding farmers’ interest in millets through incentives such as guaranteed buy-back and a bonus over the minimum support price”, according to a media report. Millets are most suited for water-deficit and drought conditions. They consume at least 70 per cent less water than other crops and require minimum inputs and almost no pesticides. For farmers, they are low-risk crops resilient to climate change. Finger millet, sorghum and other millets are locally-grown, more economical and better nutritional alternatives to oats and quinoa.

Last year, Down To Earth had reported how change in cropping pattern has almost tripled water use in the past two decades, though the area irrigated by the Cauvery River has remained the same.

READ: There’s a need to wean away farmers from water-intensive crops

In a recent interview with the BusinessLine, Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda announced that the state government is organising a three-day National Trade Fair on Organics and Millets from April 28 to create awareness on the health benefits of millets among the public.

Revival of millet production in Karnataka

Admitting that awareness of millet is still low in the state, Gowda said that the government wants to position millets such as foxtail, proso and barnyard as a healthy food and an alternative to oats or quinoa.

Government is trying to create an environment conducive for transition from paddy to ragi. Credit: Sushma Shashidhara / Flicker
Government is trying to create an environment conducive for transition from paddy to ragi. Credit: Sushma Shashidhara / Flicker

Despite low-level of awareness, government’s intervention has yielded visible results. The area under millets is on revival after production of ragi and jowar was incentivised from 2013-14 through subsidised seeds, guaranteed buyback and providing bonus over the MSP. The state now has around two million ha under millets, mainly jowar and ragi.

The area under other millets like foxtail and barnyard is around 30,000 ha.

Focus on organic farming

Talking about organic farming, the government is funding the production of organic products to encourage farmers and creating infrastructure such as warehousing and grading, the minister added that around 120,000 ha of area under organic farming has been added in the past four years, thus, increasing the total area to 180,000 ha.

Branding and positioning Karnataka, including Bengaluru, as centre for organic crops and millets has been a work in progress. While water shortage might finally push large number of farmers to produce millets, the government wants to create an environment conducive for transition from paddy or sugarcane to ragi and sorghum.

Popular posts from this blog

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Indian Polity Elections (MCQ )

1. Who of the following has the responsibility of the registration of voters
a) Individual voters
b) Government
c) Election commission
d) Corporations

2. Democracy exists in India, without peoples participation and co operation democracy will fail. This implies that
a) Government should compel people to participate and cooperate with it
b) People from the government
c) People should participate and cooperate with the government
d) India should opt for the presidential system

3. Which of the following are not the functions of the election commission
1) Conduct of election for the post of the speaker and the deputy speaker, Lok sabha and the deputy chairman, Rajya sabha
2) Conduct of elections to the state legislative assemblies
3) Deciding on all doubts and disputes arising out of elections

a) 1 and 2
b) 1 and 3
c) 2 and 3
d) 2

4. Which of the following electoral systems have not been adopted for various elections in India
1) System of direct elections on the basis of adult suffrage