IIAB Organized Poshan Vatika Maha Abhiyan & Tree Plantation Program
The farmers of Jharkhand and the farmers from other parts of the country joined the curtain-raiser program of “International Year of Millets 2023” virtually, organized at ICAR-Indian Institute of Millet Research (IIMR), Hyderabad. Inaugurating the program, Hon’ble Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar Ji stressed on including millet-based food in the daily diet and highlighted the role of industries for processing, value addition, and making millet-based food available to the people at an affordable price. The program was organized on 17th September 2021 at the Garhkhatanga campus of ICAR-Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology (IIAB), Ranchi.
Finger millet is a well-known nutri-cereal. It contains a high amount of calcium, dietary fiber, and phenolic compounds. To create renewed public awareness, especially among the young girls, about the health benefits of millet-based foods, ICAR-IIAB also organized the “Poshan Vatika Maha Abhiyan & Tree Plantation” program on the same day. During the program, IIAB scientists emphasized on creating millet processing enterprises and promised to offer technical support for converting at least few villages into a high-quality millet production hub. To increase awareness and promote entrepreneurship in millet-based enterprises, the institute, in collaboration with BAU, Ranchi, has initiated a series of five-day residential training programs on millet processing and value addition, wherein a total of 120 prospective entrepreneurs, particularly women entrepreneurs, will be trained.
Food use of finger millet is confined only to traditional consumers, especially to cultivation areas, and of late health-conscious people are also showing interest. Processing finger millet and preparing value-added and convenience products would certainly diversify its food uses. During the program, ICAR-IIAB served finger millet-based confectionaries and food to all the participants and gifted one pack to each participant for its wider spread. Simultaneously, the institute started a tree plantation drive wherein specially invited girls, seventy-one of them, planted fruit trees at the campus. Moreover, the participants were provided one thousand mango and litchi saplings and a huge amount of vegetable seeds to establish Poshan Vatika at the household level.