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Rajasthan has immense potential through millets for farmers, industry, startups and tourism: Principal Secretary, Cooperative, Govt of Rajasthan

May 19, 2023

JAIPUR, 19 May 2023: Ms Sreya Guha, Principal Secretary, Cooperative, Government of Rajasthan Yesterday said that tourism today has become highly experiential, where the uniqueness of an experience determines its appeal to tourists. "While architecture and culture used to be the main focus in the past, millennials are now seeking authentic experiences in rural areas, leading to the emergence of culinary tourism as a significant feature," she added.

Addressing the 'Rajasthan Millet Conclave', organized by FICCI, Ms Guha said that Rajasthan with its diverse range of millet offerings in every region, should be promoted among tourists as a culinary destination. Additionally, incorporating millets into street food at popular tourism hotspots can further enhance the appeal. Therefore, there is a tremendous opportunity to leverage millets in the tourism industry.

She further added that there is immense potential for startups and entrepreneurs to develop innovative recipes and products using millets, specifically targeting children aged 0-6, pregnant women, and lactating women.

The Principal Secretary further said that millets have always been an integral part of Rajasthan's traditional diet, and the state is the leading producer of 'bajra'. Millets require fewer resources, including water and land, making them an economically beneficial product for the country, she highlighted.

Mr Jitendra Joshi, Chairman, FICCI Task Force on Millets & Director Seeds, South Asia, Corteva Agriscience, said, "Rajasthan, as the largest contributor to India's millet production, holds the key to the success of millet initiatives in the International Year of Millets 2023. This Millet Conclave served as a platform for multiple stakeholders to discuss the roadmap for advancing Rajasthan's millet value chain. This comprehensive approach will create excellent opportunities for the state's millet industry, not just locally but nationwide. Millets have proven to be a climate-resilient crop for rainfed areas, enhancing farmers' income and supporting sustainable agriculture while providing nutritious food for the entire nation. Furthermore, millets open doors to new economic prospects for agribusinesses."

Earlier in the inaugural session, Joint Director, Department of Agriculture, Government of Rajasthan, Mr Shankar Babu said that millets are much more nutritious than rice and wheat and should be brought back to the daily diets of people. He highlighted that the government also launched the Rajasthan Millet Promotion Mission in 2022-23. It has made a provision of Rs 40 crore for setting up 100 primary processing units by farmers, entrepreneurs and voluntary organisations. He stated that considering the highest production of millets in Rajasthan, a Center for Excellence for Millets is also being set up in Jodhpur with an investment of INR 5 crores. While Rajasthan is leading in production of millets, work should also be done towards boosting the processing as well as marketing of millets, he added.

Director, Agriculture & Natural Resources, PwC, Guna Nand Shukla said that in Rajasthan millets can grow easily but the farmers' income and profit should be increased. The roadmap for this should focus on three things. Millets should become an important part of the mainstream tourism of the state, the adoption of technology to increase the shelf life of millets and the taste of millets should also be thought upon so that people and children should choose it. He further added that considering the expected weather conditions farmers can gain by planting short-duration and high-yielding varieties.

Mr Randhir Vikram Singh, Chairman, FICCI Rajasthan State Council & CMD Mandawa Hotels delivered the welcome address.

The conclave focused on Building a roadmap for the Rajasthan millet sector and empowering Rajasthan millet farmers through a technology linkage program.

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