Farmers exhibiting millets at a biodiversity festival organised in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. – Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam
An assortment of great millet, finger millet, sorghum, ragi, korra, and a host of other coarse grains are now made available for those who are health conscious in both powder and grain forms.
Bringing them to the local consumers for the first time in the city, the Millet Network of India (MINI) partnered with NGOs — Sabala and Sarada Valley Development Samithi (SVDS) — to launch its outlet at The Indian Women’s Association, Dabagardens, on Sunday.
A biodiversity festival was organised by involving 60 farmers from Madugula, Kothavalasa, and Cheedikada mandals, and Anakapalle, among other areas.
To create awareness on millet consumption, farmers took out a procession, carrying placards and banners, playing drums, and dancing to the beats of Tappeta Gullu.
After inaugurating the store, District Collector N. Yuvaraj emphasised the need to bring the organic produce under single brand concept.
“To overcome the crisis of promoting multiple brands in retail trading and increase the reach of millets, the produce should be brought under single brand label,” he said.
Mr. Yuvaraj told the farmers that there should be a shift in their thought process to adapt themselves to traditional millet farming rather than switching over to cash crops.
Stressing the need for better understanding of market trends, the Collector promised that he would extend institutional credit support to the farmers.
Assistant general manager of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development K.S.S.L.V. Prasad, K. Saraswathi of Sabala, and K. Jogi Naidu of SVDS spoke on the importance of consuming millets that provide innumerable dietary benefits.
Farmers who attended the festival were seen explaining the multiple advantages of consuming healthier food made of coarse grains to the visitors.
The organisers said that the timings for the new shop was yet to be decided.
First published by The Hindu
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