Farmers-scientists meet on finger millet

TAWANG, 17 Sep: Almora (Uttarakhand)-based Vivekananda Parvatiya Krishi Anusandhan (VPKAS) organised a farmers-scientists interaction programme themed ‘Promotion of finger millet in Tawang through introduction of improved technologies’ on Saturday, in collaboration with the Tawang KVK, to mark the International Year of Millets.

The programme was inaugurated by Kitpi EAC Tshering Chedon, in the presence of, among others, RFPS agronomist L Jamba and grafter KN Prasad. District BJP Kisan Morcha president Tshering Dondup and VPKAS principal scientist Dr RK Khulbe provided an overview of the initiatives undertaken by the VPKAS for promotion of millets in the district.

Senior scientist and millets breeder Dr DC Joshi presented detailed information on the importance of millets in regional food and nutritional security, and the growing prominence of millets at the global level.

Highlighting the role of “improved cultivars in crop productivity, particularly VL Mandua 376, which is a high yielding and early maturing variety,” he explained how profitability from the crop can be increased manifold through proper processing, value-addition, and organised marketing.

Millets agronomist Dr RP Meena highlighted the role of mechanisation in reducing production cost and increasing profitability, with special reference to VL millets thresher.

Later, during a meeting, the scientists urged the state government officials to “upscale the technological interventions introduced by the VPKAS to ensure that the benefits reach a wider section of the farmers.”

The Kitpi EAC assured to provide all possible assistance to the VPKAS in its efforts to promote millets in Tawang. She requested the VPKAS to “extend help in organic certification and branding of Tawang’s finger millet.”

KVK agronomy scientist CK Singh, who has been instrumental in promoting VL Mandua 376 in the district, spoke on the “earliness and high yield of VL Mandua 376,” and emphasised “the need for more quality seeds of the variety and millet threshers in the district for further extension of the variety in the state.”

Dondup presented a brief overview of the government schemes, and promised to support popularisation of the technologies in the district.

Sixty-four farmers from Kitpi, Named and Shernup villages participated in the meeting. (DIPRO)