I demand that Government of India seriously consider the following:
1. Provide millets highest priority in the National Food Security Bill: Government of India should allocate at least 40% of its food security budget to millet based farming and food systems that will use millets as their major food component.
2. Put millets into public food systems of India: Millets need to be integrated into the existing Public Distribution System (PDS)
3. Also introduce millet meals twice a week in the ICDS, school mid day meals, welfare hostels and such other schemes of the government.
4. Recognise millets as Climate Change Compliant Crops and promote their cultivation and consumption: Climate change will result in higher heat, drought, lower rainfall and water crisis as well as high malnutrition.
5. For the ecological role they have played dryland farmers need to be recognised and granted monetary bonuses for biodiversity, water conservation and sustaining solutions against climate change.
6. Investment on millet lands which apart from creating permanent investment for the poor can also create at half the cost of NREGA, double the employment days.
7. Convert cultivable fallows into millet farms If the government works determinedly and helps the farmers to cultivate these lands and farm millets, the country will be able to produce a minimum of 25 million tonnes of millets,5 million tonnes of pulses and fodder that can feed an astounding 50 million heads of cattle. This is a huge opportunity.
8. Start a massive educational and promotional programme on millets
9. The government must use its media campaign funds to take up millet promotion.
In short, I ENDORSE MILLETS
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