Kolhapur: District Collector Amol Yedge has emphasized the importance of using traditional, natural, and healthy millets for all age groups. He was speaking at the inauguration of the ‘Millet Festival 2024’ organized by the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board, Pune, and NABARD, Kolhapur, at the V.T. Patil Smruti Bhavan, Rajaram Puri Kolhapur.

Yedge said that millets are nutritious and are grown and consumed by farmers in the traditional way. They are naturally produced and are beneficial for young and old alike. He pointed out that the United Nations has declared 2023 as the ‘International Year of Millets’ to highlight their importance.

The District Collector said that the perception of millets as a poor man’s food has now changed. Farmers are now growing millets using natural methods and selling them at various millet festivals. The global recognition of millets has also led to a significant increase in their market. He urged everyone to consume more millets to address health problems. He also suggested that millet-based food items should be served to welcome guests at all public events and that the Agriculture Department should take the lead in this initiative.

Highlights of the Millet Festival:

  • The main objective of the festival is to reduce the number of intermediaries in the marketing system and ensure that farmers get a fair price for their produce and consumers get good quality products at reasonable prices.
  • The festival is attracting a large number of customers due to the nutritional value of millets.
  • The festival will be held in Kolhapur from February 24 to 27 from 9 am to 9 pm.
  • Millet producers, processors, self-help groups, cooperative societies, farmer producer companies, and startups from various parts of the state are participating in the festival.
  • 45 stalls have been set up at the festival where customers can buy a variety of authentic millets such as jowar, bajra, nachni, bhagar, ragi, and sama, as well as millet-based products such as jowar flour, bajra chips, ragi biscuits, jowar idli mix, and ragi dosa mix.
  • The festival will also feature informative talks by renowned experts on millet production, value addition, and health benefits, a millet-based cooking competition for women, and a buyer-seller meet.

Benefits of Millets:

  • Millets are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • They are gluten-free and easy to digest.
  • Millets have a low glycemic index, which means they do not raise blood sugar levels rapidly.
  • They are rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body against diseases.
  • Millets are a sustainable crop that can be grown in dry and arid regions.

The Millet Festival 2024 is a great opportunity to learn more about these nutritious and sustainable grains and to incorporate them into your diet.

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