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Millets FPO Exhibition’ Organized for Central Armed Police Forces at BSF Camp in Chhawala, New Delhi

More than 30 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) showcased a variety of products including raw millet grains, ready-to-cook (RTC) items, and ready-to-eat (RTE) products.

Shivangi Rai
Today, DA&FW hosted a 'Millets FPO Exhibition for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) under the Ministry of Home Affairs' at the BSF Camp in Chhawala, New Delhi. (Image Courtesy- Twitter)
Today, DA&FW hosted a 'Millets FPO Exhibition for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) under the Ministry of Home Affairs' at the BSF Camp in Chhawala, New Delhi. (Image Courtesy- Twitter)

The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) hosted a 'Millets FPO Exhibition for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to promote the consumption of millets or ‘Shree Anna’ among the Central Armed Police Personnel, under the Ministry of Home Affairs' today, at the BSF Camp in Chhawala, New Delhi.

More than 30 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) from around the country, showcased a variety of products including raw millet grains, ready-to-cook (RTC) items, and ready-to-eat (RTE) products etc, to approximately 1,000 attendees from various paramilitary forces.

The Exhibition was inaugurated by Faiz Ahmad Kidwai, Additional Secretary, DA&FW, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. He was joined by Maninder Kaur, Additional Secretary, DA&FW and Shubha Thakur, JS (Crops), DA&FW.

In his inaugural speech, Faiz Ahmed Kidwai, AS, DA&FW, highlighted how over 75,000 FPOs are working to support small farmers with resources and market connections. He pointed out that 34 millet FPOs from Rajasthan, UP, MP, and Haryana had gathered for the mega event with a dual aim to showcase the variety of millet products in the country and establish direct links with CAPF canteens and departmental stores for future procurement.

Shubha Thakur, JS (Crops), DA&FW, expressed gratitude to the paramilitary forces for their eagerness to embrace millets. She also commended the 34 FPOs for their range of millet products on display and looked forward to a fruitful collaboration between Millet FPOs and paramilitary forces

The exhibition served as an opportunity for the FPOs to interact directly with the armed forces and their families, introducing them to the wide array of home-grown, millet-based products.

Additionally, the procurement officers and chefs/cooks also got a chance to witness the diversity of products, ease of millet procurement and linkages with FPOs for future procurement for their respective units during the exhibition.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs took a ground-breaking decision to introduce 30% millet in the meals of personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

In alignment with the celebration of the International Year of Millets, this decision aimed to promote millets as an energy-rich food choice for paramilitary personnel and to support their physically demanding routines, as millets are loaded with fiber, minerals, and essential nutrients.

In August 2023, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) also organized a culinary training session for more than 250 chefs and cooks working with paramilitary forces, including the Assam Rifles, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Security Guard, Sashastra Seema Bal, and various government canteens. The successful training session acquainted participants with a variety of millet-based recipes, ranging from simple snacks to wholesome meals, which they were eager to incorporate into the daily menus of their canteens and mess facilities.

Over 34 Farmer Producer Organizations showcased and sold their unique range of products to Commandants, Second-in-Commands, Quartermasters, Chefs/Cooks, and their families during the exhibition. Notable highlights of the exhibition included ready-to-eat products like Foxtail Millet Khakhra, Bajra Cookies, Jowar Ladoos, Millet Rusk, Ragi Namkeen, Cakes etc. Guests were not only impressed by the remarkable versatility of these ready-to-eat millet-based sweets and savouries, but they also expressed a keen interest in learning more about millet flours and ready-to-cook items, such as Ragi Idli Mix, Millet Upma, and Millet noodles, to incorporate into their daily diets.

Live cooking counters were also set up for the officers and Jawans to sample various, delectable millet-based dishes such as Sorghum (Jowar) Pasta with Vegetables and Mayonnaise Cream, Finger Millet (Ragi) Noodles with sautéed vegetables, Millet Pongal with curd, Sorghum Chaach, Finger Millet (Ragi) Ladoo with Dry Fruit Mix, Millet Sewai, Pearl Millet (Bajra) Puff Snacks, etc.

Adding to the celebration of millets at the exhibition were the selfie booths shaped like Sorghum, Ragi, and Pearl Millet. These selfie booths, designed to represent a 'happy millet family,' were a big hit with the families of the Jawans.

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