Budget 2023: India to become the global hub for millets (Shree Anna)
The Union Budget 2023-24 has highlighted the importance of coarse grains or millets as means of sustainable cultivation that can raise the income of small farmers in arid regions besides providing food and nutritional security globally. Millets have been an integral part of our Indian diets for centuries. Millets, in addition to providing numerous health benefits, are also beneficial to the environment due to their low water and input requirements. The United Nations declared 2023 the International Year of Millets at the request of the Government of India to raise awareness and increase the production and consumption of millets. The economic survey 2023, highlighted that India alone was responsible for the production of 80 per cent of Asia’s and 20 per cent of the global production of millet. India’s average yield of millet is 1239 kg/ha, compared to the global average yield of 1229 kg/ha. India is the largest producer and second-largest exporter of Shree Anna in the world. India grows several types of Shree Anna including Jowar, Raagi, Bajra, Ramdana, Cheena, and Saama. The Union Budget for 2023-24 on February 1 included a special focus on millet. The Union Budget 2023-24 highlighted that to make India a global hub for Shree Anna Research, the Indian Institute of Millet Research in Hyderabad will be made into a center of excellence for sharing best practices, research and technology at the international level. The finance minister also acknowledged the role of India’s small farmers in contributing to the health of Indian citizens by growing these nutritious millets.