Dear respected colleagues,
Below is the article as per subject column . This article is the English translation written by Padmashri Ashok Bhagat in the today’s Hindi news paper Prabhat Khabar, Ranchi, Jharkhand:
The world is gradually on the track after rising out of the world-wide effect of the epidemic of corona. However, still in all the spheres of our life the depression persists. But the satisfaction is that the world has discovered ways to fight the epidemic. Despite this, we are facing the challenges to protect the human resource. In our country India, this is a great problem. At present there is no shortage of grains. The trust worthy statistics shows that during the corona period, our farmers have strengthened the agriculture sector. Where the sources of economic development like industries, tourism and services were dried, the growth rate in the agriculture sector has set an example. But we may not be satisfied with this only. The increment in the capacity in the agriculture sector should be our and our government’s core value. This is also an important problem of food grains in this era of change in the environment.
There is continuous decrement in the sweet water used for agriculture. Besides, in many parts of the world, there is an increase in the dryness in many fields of crop production. The effect of it is certain, and naturally there will be a negative impact on the crop production. To overcome the shortage of crop productivity, our government has prepared a systematic plan, which is based on our traditional agriculture system, but there are few scientific corrections in it. The grains which we call coarse grains are mainly known as the diet for the poorer. Now, the government has planned to develop it. In the coarse gains the level of nutrition is very high. One research has shown that in the coarse grains the content of protein, vitamin A, iron and iodine is very high. If we use it, we can provide nutritive grains to a large population.
In broad terms, jowar, marua, ragi, kutki, sanwa, kangani, cina and makka are being kept in the rank of coarse grains. The main quality of these grains is that these coarse grains can be produced even in the dry areas. Besides, compared to paddy and wheat, the cost of production of these grains is less. The time consumption in the production of coarse grains is less. Due to these reasons the govt. of India had announced 2018 as the year of coarse grains. The world is praising this effort of our government. During the next year in 2023, The world food organization has decided to celebrate it as millet year. Due to the green revolution, the grains productivity in our country has increased, but we have left out many things. Statistics shows that before the green revolution in our country, approx.in 36.50 million hectares of area the cultivation of the different crops were done. But during 2016-17, the area under cultivation decreased to 14.72 million hectares. There is a wide change in our dietary habits. Our society has accepted wheat & rice as our staple food. We have to change this scenario. In the coming days, if we want to save ourselves from hunger, then we will have to include coarse grains in our diet.
According to the views of the academicians, malnutrition does not mean the scarcity of food, however, the world food organization believes that the person who consumes less than 1800 calories is suffering from malnutrition. During these days in our country, the number of persons suffering from malnutrition has decreased. But by this to guess that we are self-reliant in terms of the production of food grains, is not correct. The society will have to follow the government and will have to concentrate on the production of the coarse grains. This would be a good alternative for the plateau region of Jharkhand where the land is sloppy and rocky.
During the budget of this year, the government has announced to provide one Kg of pulses per month to the poor at a subsidized rate. But the reason that the government has decided it, the solution of it can be fetched from the villages of Jharkhand.
In Jharkhand a lot of the coarse grains are produced, which contain a lot of proteins. Government should spend a fixed budget on it, in order to encourage its productivity. Besides, in the production of rice in Jharkhand additional support price should be standardized. In order to encourage the production of the coarse grains, the government of India has doubled the support price on the production of the coarse grains in comparison to wheat & rice. Due to it the people will attract towards the coarse grains. Small and marginalized farmers will be benefitted and the village economy will be strengthened. In total, we need to link crop production with tradition. Besides, we will have to change our dietary habits by including the intake of the coarse grains.