Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday presented a Union Budget in Parliament that aims to make India a global hub for millets, a grain that is seen as a healthy staple and expected to grow in importance in coming years.
As the world’s largest producer and second-largest exporter of millets, India will continue to benefit financially from a continuous emphasis on home production, consumption, and export potential. After the government strategy to promote them, millet prices are likely to stay the same.
Sitharaman announced that The Indian Institute of Millet Research based in Hyderabad will get a facelift. It will be supported as ‘Centre of Excellence’ for sharing best practices, research and technologies at the international level. “Now to make India a global hub for ‘Shree Anna’, the Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad will be supported as the Centre of Excellence for sharing best practices, research and technologies at the international level,” Sitharaman said.
Under the auspices of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, IIMR is a leading agricultural research institution doing fundamental and strategic studies on sorghum and other millets (ICAR).
Through All India Coordinated Research Projects on Millets, Pearl Millet, and Small Millets, it facilitates and coordinates Millets research at the national level and establishes connections with numerous national and international organisations.
Millets have short growth cycles and may be stored for extended periods of time, thus there is no need for them to be more expensive than commonly used staples. In her speech, Sitharaman also noted that India is the second largest exporter of ‘Shree Anna’ (millets) in the world, a grain that has been an integral part of food for centuries.
The upgrade of the Millet Research Institute, according to Krishna Ella, founder and executive chairman of Bharat Biotech International Ltd, is a glaring example of the government’s dedication to rural development and food security.