1. Agriculture World

Agriculture Ministry and ICAR Join Hands to Promote Bio-Fortified Cereals and Pulses

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
cereal crop

Prior to the annual Kharif Conference scheduled on April 30, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) have come together to promote bio-fortified cereals and pulses through the revamped National Food Security Mission (NFSM).

The agriculture ministry has planned to convert NFSM to NFNSM (National Food and Nutritional Security Mission). This move has come to address issues of food security and national security.

Improving India's Global Hunger Index ranking

The 2020 Global Hunger Index saw India at the rank of 94 out of 107 countries. In order to improve its ranking, the country is busy spreading awareness about the benefits of nutrition-rich cereals like sorghum and millets that promise to fight hunger and malnutrition. For this, India has started Poshan Abhiyan program.

In the wake of this, the ministry, as per an official statement,  is taking preparatory steps to observe 2023 as the International Year of Millets. Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal has appraised scientists and officials about this.

Strategy for the Kharif season

At a recent interface workshop, the Agriculture Ministry and the ICAR resolved to chart out a joint strategy for the next Kharif season. This is amid the forecast of normal monsoon by IMD (Indian Meteorological Department).  Kharif season sowing begins with the onset of monsoon, which generally arrives on June 1. It spreads throughout the country within 40-45 days.

The Agriculture Secretary highlighted the need to cut down the cost of cultivation through the use of appropriate crop varieties that are resistant to disease and pest. His suggestion to scientists is to improve Kharif crop productivity, especially crops like oilseeds and pulses.

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