Budget 2023 largely emphasizes promoting the use of technology in the
agriculture sector. Expectations for budget 2023, which was unveiled on
Wednesday by finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, were high because it was the
last comprehensive budget before the elections of Lok Sabha 2024. The year 2023
has been declared the 'International Year of Millet' by the United Nations at
the assistance or suggestion of government of India.
The department of
Agriculture and Farmers Welfare wants to spread the cultivation of millet and
its intake around the globe on a wider scale. Millets are very significant in
Indian history of agriculture and they are the long cultivated crop in the human
history. Moreover, recently many policies has been implemented by the government
of India to increase the cultivation and intake of millets.
The most recent of
which is the declaration of 2023-2024 as IYM in the budget. The agricultural
industry of India still remains crucial to the economy of nation, despite a fall
in proportion of agriculture in the economy during the last fifty years. It is
essential for sustainable development to have focus on increasing the
productivity of grains for the food security.
Diabetes mellitus one of the
health issues connected with the shift in diet from high protein foods to high glycemic index foods, like rice. In order to prevent the mounting of diabetic
patient cases in the nation, there is need for an increase in consumption of
foods which are rich in fiber. Lacking of such crop is often cited as one of the
factors responsible for the present nutritional dilemma of a country where
issues like malnutrition coexist.
This essay objectively examines the issuing of
various resources for the production of millets in the current budget 2023-2024
and examining both negative as well as positive aspects.
Expectations for budget 2023, which was unveiled on Wednesday by finance
Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, were high because it was the last comprehensive
budget before the elections of Lok Sabha 2024. For example it was anticipated
that under PM-KISAN scheme, the sum provided to farmers would rise. Some of the
expectations were met in this budget, while some were not dealt successfully.
Budget 2023 largely emphasizes promoting the use of technology in the
agriculture sector. This is a welcome step to decentralize storage, which will
significantly reduce post-harvest failures and also act as a catalyst for
growing farmer returns. By empowering contemporary technology to revolutionize
agricultural practices, boost production and maximize profits, the finance will
be established with the goal of offering creative and reasonably priced
solutions to problems encountered by farmers.
The agricultural industry of India
still remains crucial to the economy of nation, despite a fall in proportion of
agriculture in the economy during the last fifty years. The nation has made
significant improvements in agricultural production over the past few decades,
such as adoption of high-yielding seed varieties, increased use of fertilizer,
and improved methods of management of water.
Modifications in land distribution,
food delivery and water management mechanisms will enhance production and help
India fulfill its rising food demand. The concentration on technology based
measures and reimbursement for farmers made the 2023 budget a mixed bag for
agriculture, although anticipated tax breaks were missing. As per what the
government says, the overall budgetary assignment will be beneficial for small
Millets belong to the category of small seeded grasses, which is usually
ignored or neglected, despite the fact that the significance of such huge
grained cereal crops such as rice, corn and wheat to the origins of agriculture
is well acknowledged.
Primarily, India is considered as an agrarian society,
meaning that agriculture is the primary source of income for 55% of the
country's inhabitants. Both small as well as marginal farmers make up 86% of
farmers of India (agriculture census 2015-2016). Millet crops are gaining
popularity due to their favorable health effects and eco-friendly attribute.
These crops are typically viewed as minor grained cereal that play a supporting
function in an agrarian plan when they are launched into initial farming
In India small farmers are struggling with money problems.
Malnutrition along with unrecognized hunger are the major concerns affecting the
Indian mothers and their children. Also, climate change may cause a decline in
global agricultural productivity in the coming decades. The expression 'smart
food' was first used by ICRISAT which refers to the food that should meet the
following requirements: of being good for you, the farmer and the plant as well.
The importance of millet as a smart meal is unavoidable in order to tackle these
significant and enduring concerns.
One of the biggest challenges that countries
confront is the lacking of micronutrients or the 'hidden hunger'. One
sustainable way to ensure nutrition as well as food security is through millets.
Major hurdle, which is experienced by more than 2 billion people globally, of
which half residing in India. These inadequacies are the outcome of lack in
cereal based meal diet plan that is monotonous and has minimal food consumption.
There are nine forms of millets that are generally known to be grown in India,
of which three forms are considered to be major millet while other six are
addressed as minor millets. Although, for its cultivation practice, the Punjab
state has enormous potential and Punjab is contributing about one-fourth of
total grained cereals of the country, it is believed to be lagging behind in the
production of millet cereal. Millets were also a traditional crop in Punjab.
According to the historical data, even before the advent of towns of the Indus
Valley civilization, they were used in the initial stages of agriculture. Almost
11 hectares of land was used for millet farming during time period of 1950's.
Currently, this has come down to a total of about 1000 hectares. As per the
reports of Punjab Agricultural University of Ludhiana, with the advent of Green
Revolution in year 1965 the cultivation of millet crop was replaced with the
cultivation of crops like rice and wheat, which resulted in a decline in the
area under millet production.
With the passage of time, the state only had 2.13 lakh hectares for the cultivation of millet crop in 1969-1970. The area under
millet cultivation is approximately minute in current times. During the
prolonged period of dryness and erratic rainfall that subcontinent had
experienced, millets assisted in feeding the local inhabitants as well as their
animals or cattle.
Despite the extensive history of millets, the millet
cultivation in India has decreased gradually. This type of transition to other
crops form millet can be explained by a number of factors. In diets nowadays the
rice and wheat crops are the preference of bulk of consumers that meaning food
consumed is more of high carbohydrate and less of protein.
Diabetes mellitus one of the health issues connected with the shift in diet
from high protein foods to foods with a high glycemic index, like rice and
wheat. In order to prevent the mounting of diabetic patient cases in the nation,
there is need for an increase in consumption of foods which are rich in fiber.
Lacking of such crop is often cited as one of the factors responsible for the
present nutritional dilemma of a country where issues like malnutrition coexist.
The year 2023 has been declared the 'International Year of Millet' by the United
Nations at the assistance or suggestion of government of India. The department
of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare wants to spread the cultivation of millet
and its intake around the globe on a wider scale. Millets are very significant
in Indian history of agriculture and they are the long cultivated crop in the
Moreover, recently a number of policies has been implemented by
the government of India to increase the cultivation and intake of millets, the
most recent of which is the declaration of 2023-2024 as International Year of
Millets (IYM) in the budget talk delivered on 1 February 2023 by Ms. Nirmala
Sitharaman, the Union Finance Minister of India. Millets referred to as
'Nutri-cereal' as it is the crop which is climatic resilient that function much
better than the other crops like rice and wheat on the scale of marginal growth
circumstances and also have good nutrient profile, which can assist attain
nutritional security sustainably. Comparing millets with other crops, they are
easy and simple to grow.
When they are compared to crop like rice, millets do
not need as much time or attention like other crops requires. As the IYM
underway the government has planned many of millet related promotional
activities across the country, while also emphasizing how much important millets
are for the summits of G-20. There is a need that government should organize
various awareness programmes to raise understanding the health advantages of
millet crop and also requires to conduct in-depth consumer research to gauge the
perception of consumers and consciousness about millet.
Government of nation
should also establish plans to expand the mid-day meal programmes in government
schools and add millets to the Public Distribution System to promote demand for
millets and end secret hunger of children. To encourage the manufacture of value
added foods based on millet, new businesses should also be offered with
incentives as well as subsidies by the government.
This paper aims to explore
and concentrate on the potential function that can be performed by millets in
furtherance of dietary diversification along with the balanced diets and better
approach is suggested for the millet utilization in order to tackle the major
issues with regard to food and nutrient security. This results into the growing
awareness of significant crop millet.
In-Depth Nuanced Analysis
Millets are largely a kharif crop in India and require less water and
agricultural inputs than other staple foods of a similar nature. In
comparison to 107 million tonnes of wheat, millet produced 118 million tonnes
overall in 2021�22. The 'Year of Millets' was proclaimed by the UN General
Assembly in 2023 to encourage the cultivation and intake of millets.
has made a number of efforts to encourage the usage of millets. For the
International Year of Millets, it provided the FAO with a donation of USD 5 lakh.
Startups and millet goods have been promoted in order to increase domestic use
and exports of millets.Institutionalized in March 2021, the Production Linked
Incentive Scheme for the Food Processing Industry. With production
incentives for ready-to-eat meals including millet-based goods, marine products,
and processed fruits and vegetables, it has an outlay of Rs 10,900 crore. 
development and effectiveness of an initiative or policy relies not merely on
the availability of funding as well as upon the planning phase, stage, and
method used in making expenditures. Inadequate risk control and climatic adaption approaches have not emphasized in the current budget. Since
colossal susceptibility of the millet crop to climate change, productivity is
increasingly at danger from severe weather happenings or conditions including
drought, heavy downpour results in floods and the like.
In order to handle such
hazards, the 2023-2024 budget sufficiently does not prioritise climate-smart
strategies, for example adopting climate-resilient types and funding insurance
plans. Incorporating techniques for adaptation to climate change is essential to
protect millet output and ensure producers livelihoods.
As the new budget has
been already prepared by the government, the insufficient emphasis in this
budget on research and development inducements for the productivity of the
millets is one of the aspect of denunciation. With the climatic changes and
emergence of the pest, it is necessary for the development of resilient crop
diversification for catering the present day challenges for agricultural
Although the whole unified management of water paradigm has great potential,
things are now ambiguous. In nation like India, the agricultural sector utilizes
the most water, and unless this problem is solved, every attempt would
eventually be lost. The positive side is that there have recently been some
indications of hope, but the downside is that, aren't they yet received
Nearly three-fourths of the water in country India is used to
cultivate crops such as paddy, wheat and the like, which require a lot of water.
These kinds of crops are preferred by farmers due to guaranteed purchasing with
a low support rate. These crops are encouraged by policies to achieve national
food security. This present 2023 year is being observed as the International
Year of Millets throughout the world. The revamping of millets in addition to
other native and agro-ecologically vulnerable patterns of cultivation has been
repeatedly discussed by important policymakers.
Their voice, however, fails to
coincide with their budget. The provision for the subsidy to chemical
fertilizers is reportedly floating at practically an all-time high, or 1, 75,148 cr INR, according to the budget documents. However, the funding for the
substitute technique remains pitiful. In comparison to the 10,433 crore INR
in funding allocated for the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) last year, the
amount has been decreased by approximately 25%.
Additionally, only 459 cr INR is
provided to the National Mission on Natural Farming. India dire need of a
multifaceted approach to water sustainability. The agricultural sector ought to
be the first concern, with the future viability of water supplies coming in
second. Every other approaches have restricted utility unless issue is not
prioritized at level.
2023 has been designated as the Year of Millets by the UN. It is heavily
marketed for being healthy and able to withstand climate change, however
research is also needed on its implications on human wellness and financial
sustainability. Millets have been a mainstay of Indian cuisine since the days of
the Vedas. Millets have reportedly been consumed throughout China for more
than four thousand years.
All around the United States in the Chinese retail
outlet, it is freely accessible. It is typically grown in Indian states and
tribal belts amid rain-fed. By virtue of Green Revolution the position of staple
food is taken by crops like rice and wheat. Reviving millet has been advocated
for a number of factors, notably its adaptability to climate change,
overproduction of rice and wheat, wellness benefits, and financial advantages
for farmers. Compared to rice and wheat, which require significant carbon
inputs, millets are marketed as being more climate resistant.
This is an
untruth, though. Unpredictable monsoons can reduce production of wheat as well
as rice, which flips the situation. These lofty safety stock or buffer
inventory is deceiving. Due to excessive costs on the common marketplace with
insufficient rationing availability, many are unable to acquire what they seeks
to have. If the rations including quantity of grains is increased, the whole
reserve store can disappear. The decision is likewise unwise to plant millet on
areas that might otherwise grow grains such as wheat and rice.
results in scarcity of the grains similar to the one that occurred from 1966 to
1968, during which we significantly relied on wheat grain of USA in accordance
with Public Law 480 for our daily necessities. According to the legislation, the
President of America may approve the shipping of excess supplies to welcoming
countries on endowment or concessionary conditions.
In this contemporary times
with advances in technology, one acre of paddy may produce 35-40 quintals.
When compared to 35 to 40 quintals of rice, the yields for the three main
millets, jowar (sorghum), ragi (finger millet) including bajra i.e. pearl
millet, range from 5 to 10 quintals. Prominent millets generally well-stabilized
by present agronomic practices, that involve the application of pesticides as
well as fertilizers.
In this final stage, a few irrigations are necessary for it
to flourish. The fact can't be neglected as because of relatively having low
yields of prominent millets plus large area requirements, all in all if they
were being staple crop then the cultivation of major millets would not results
into the resilience of climate. The reason for this is due to the fact that 100
gr. of sorghum include 11 g of proteins, vitamin C about 28 mg, as well as ten
% of fats as well as micronutrients including iron about 8 mg, 10 mg of
calcium, magnesium about 10 mg along with 2.5 g of zinc. Nevertheless, there
have been few concerns about anti-nutritive properties of the millets.
The benefits of such grains are outweighed by phytic acid, a harmful substance
which is anti-nutritive. Phytic acid that contains phosphate interacts when
consumed in the millets to generate a number of compounds. It bonds with millet
micronutrients such as zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium, among other
micronutrients. Consequently, our intestinal tracts are unable to digest the
nutrients that minerals and vitamins provide.
Additionally, neither phytic acid
nor its metal chelates would be taken by the body of human beings. Anaemia and
weariness are the results, which is likely the cause of the frequent occurrence
of these disorders between tribal people and impoverished farmers who only eat
millet which poses a significant danger to health. A drawback of the marketing
of millet as a special kind of everyday meal is the substantial quantity of
phytic acid it contains. Additionally, certain millets, including pearl millet,
have high oxides concentrations that may cling to the mineral calcium and result
in stones in the kidneys.
Inhibitors such as trypsin, protease, which are also
present in millets, slow process of absorption of minerals by the body and other
micronutrients. Millets also have significant quantities of polyphenols and
tannins, which may combine with micronutrients to generate chelates.
Consequently, none of the criteria allow for the availability of micronutrients
in the bodies of people. Although phytic acid is undoubtedly present in a
variety of different foods, including rice, legumes, cereals, legumes and
wheat current processing of food almost eliminates it.
For instance, phytic
acid also present in milled rice which is about 0.2%, brown rice shows presence
of acid of amount of 0.9%, which is as well as wheat which also has presence of
this acid which ranges from 0.4% to 1.4%. Excessive phytic acid concentration
must to be lowered before the millets can be consumed, which entails soaking for
24 hours, draining the extra water, and boiling. At the moment, hardly a lot of
individuals use these techniques. The millet is typically powdered and then
boiled or made into flatbread (chapattis), which might not completely eliminate
the phytic acid.
The acid can also be removed by fermentation with yoghurt. Worldwide,
fermentation processes are used by many different civilizations. Instances
embody the Ghanaian porridge known as Hausa Koko and our own Jawar Ambali. To
lower the level of phytic acid in our cookery, these approaches should be
modified. It is believed that this grain is goitrogenic and is known to have
anti-thyroid effects is another concerning aspect of this grain. According to
studies, millet, particularly pearl millet, includes substances that cause
goitre, such as vitexin and C-glucosyl flavones.
Despite the fact that boiling
can remove goitrogens, its still preferable for those experiencing iodine
shortages to stay away from goitrogenic foods like pearl millet. Several millets
aren't believed to have had comparable research into their goitrogenic impacts.
When it comes to financial variables, millet consistently produces lower yields
than either rice or wheat.
Millets are a rain-dependent crop and also recognised as summer crop, they are unable to be produced during the Rabi
season. Additionally, there is lack of machinery for process of processing of
millets that may be used for separating or grinding. On millet, the government
also does not set a minimum support price (MSP). Given the economic
difficulties, it seems obvious that farmers would not choose to cultivate
millet. Given the low yield of millets, more areas are needed. Millets have a
limited lifespan in storage, to add to it also can't be kept for up to three
years, just like grains such as rice and wheat.
This occurs as a result of the
millets' containing the amount of fat. Moreover the indispensable matter of MSP
was discussed in last year budget of 2022-2023, however present budget
completely ignore about this matter. There is no talk about MSP in the current
budget of 2023-2024. It is also important to do in-depth research on phytic
acid, agricultural science social standing, as well as additional antinutritive
Certain of the above aforementioned millets in this essay have been
grown by peasants in nomadic regions, who sale them in somewhat modest numbers
at weekly marketplaces. Agriculture experts and the organizations of the
government are tasked with stabilizing agricultural science by creating
equipment for processing, warehousing procedures, also the techniques for
cooking like fermenting.
The key problem is using the right ways of processing
to reduce antinutritive phytic acid while maintaining a significant quantity of
minerals. It may be preserved for generations and propagated with the use of the
cryogenic preservation process and ongoing culture. In accordance with antinutritive
based literature of the millets, perhaps would be best to limit millets
consumption about 60g per person each day but not more than that. There is also
possibility or way to use it with grains like paddy and wheat. One would
definitely suffer from the dangerous effects of the phytic acid if consumes
millet in their diet on the daily basis and also those who might skip them for
certain days however when they consume that is more than 60g.
Bodies of human
beings are not accustomed of consuming much quantity of this acid. Consequently
it is reflected that stopping the colossal consumption of millets would not have
long term negative impacts over the human's body. Research in science must take
precedence above advertising, popularity and brand marketing when conducting
Waiting for the findings is preferable to implementing
millets in government schemes that are necessary for school i.e. Mid-day meals,
schools situated in villages, and the public distribution system (PDS). It is
important to make the negative consequences of millets widely known. Another
aspect upon which this budget have not emphasized much is the lack of
infrastructure for the production of millets. As from several years farmers are
accustomed with the cultivation techniques and cropping patterns in accordance
with the crops such as wheat however they is dire need for the development of
such infrastructure which is particularly or specifically for the farming of
If government wanted to increase the marketing as well as productivity
level of the millets then they have to make investments sufficiently in
irrigation systems, infrastructure of transportation and the like. The positive
result of the development of infrastructure would be that post-harvest losses
can be minimized due to availability of the adequate infrastructure.
would help farmers to access the market outlets which in furtherance encourage
the peasants to indulge themselves into farming of millets. The very well result
of imposing policies or schemes lead to huge chaos in the society could be seen
in the farmers protest started in 2020 against three farm laws which were
promulgated by the union government.
This protest by the farmers of whole India
is known to be the longest and the biggest protest in the vast chronicle of
modern India. The agitation show the will power of the common people, their
self-confidence even did not shattered by the chilling cold, scorching heat and
not even the heavy downpour. This protest overwhelmed the hearts of foreign
nations like Canada too as women and children also showed commendable
However the downside of this protest was more than 800 people
lost their lives might because of excessive heat of summers, chilling cold of
winters and some because of injuries they got by baton charge of police forces.
All in all the government if wanted to introduce any change as per the budget
2023-2024 they had to do it in a pristine manner which in furtherance not lead
to any mass or resources destruction.
There is a famous say 'variety is the spice of life.' However in the bygone era
as well as in this epoch it is irrefutable or there is no denying of the fact
that hoping is not an approach or strategy. It implies that farmers cannot
reasonably sell the expectation of a successful harvest of kharif after dropping
a Rabi crop. However what happens when producers own it as their sole source of
As a result of this, the nation's general food grains scenario would
likewise suffer, contributing to hike in the monetary value of food and
increasing the risk of shortages of food for those who are poor and already
suffering from the less accessibility to the resources. The possibility of the
Rabi crop yield matching even the level of last year is dwindling.
opposite end of the spectrum, the nation's food supply continues to be
decreasing as a result of primarily fulfilling the obligations of the national
food security plan and then of sending almost 3 million tonnes of grains into
the marketplace in order to curb the matter of rising prices. Our nation is
approaching a shortage crisis if the subsequent 2 months do not see a bountiful
The following will increase the price of foodstuff. Despite the cost-free foodgrains provided by the food security programme, consumers are still required
to pay extra for their food. This has a negative effect on profitability as a
whole, especially for producers who did not make profits throughout four seasons
in a row.
Though the budget 2023-2024 have several shortcomings such as women
and children are completely ignored, matter of MSP has not been addressed as it
was discussed in the previous year budget of 2022-2023 and the like.
Indian government also dreamt of making this year 2023 as international year of
millets in actual manner however no one is giving surety or claiming that if
country farmers shift from crops like wheat or paddy to the production or
cultivation of millet then every individual of the nation would not remain
devoid of food, no one especially those in power have not given people of India
the guarantee that there will be no mishappening of crisis like scarcity of food
and with this paradigm shift no person going to die with starvation.
- Anju Agnihotri Chaba, 'Punjab, the Granary of India, Lags in Millet Production: Data' The Indian Express (Jalandhar, 30 December 2022) accessed 31 August 2023.
- Anju Agnihotri Chaba, 'In Punjab, a Farmer Returns to His Roots, Turns Torchbearer for Millets' The Indian Express (Jalandhar, 26 January 2023) accessed 31 August 2023.
- 'International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023 Kick Starts with Focused Activities Being Undertaken by Central Ministries, State Governments and Indian Embassies' (Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, 1 January 2023) accessed 29 August 2023.
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- 'Implementation of Budget Announcements 2022-23' 'Ministry of Finance Department of Economic Affairs, 1 February 2023) accessed 6 September 2023.
- 'Ministry of Food Processing Industries issues guidelines for Production Linked Incentive Scheme for the Food Processing Industry' (Ministry of Food Processing Industries, 3 May 2021) accessed 29 August 2023.
- 'Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industry' (Ministry of Food Processing Industries) accessed 7 September 2023.
- 'Union Budget 2023-24: A Detailed Analysis with a Water Lens' (India Water Portal Hindi, 3 February 2023) accessed 7 September 2023
- K Nagaiah and others, 'Beyond the Hoopla: Millets Must Be Promoted. But Health and Economic Concerns Need Priority' (DownToEarth, 22 March 2023) accessed 28 August 2023.