Bhojpur’s Millet Festival
The Bhojpur’s Millet Festival was organized from February 28 to March 1 in Bihar. Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Pashupati Kumar Paras inaugurated this event. It is part of the many Millet-related events conducted in 2023, which has been declared by the UN as the International Year of Millets.
Key Highlights of the Bhojpur Millet Festival
The two-day event brought together stakeholders in the food processing sector to specifically focus on millet. This event helped increase awareness about Shree Anna (the mother of all grains) and its role in improving the health of people. It is also expected to boost the export of millets from Bihar, which is known to produce Jowar, Bajra, Ragi and Small Millets.
Notably, India accounts for 20% of the global millet production and 80% of Asia’s millet output. However, millets still account for a mere 3% of the world grain trade.
Why was the festival organized in Bhojpur?
The festival was organized in Bhojpur for the following reasons:
Bhojpur is located in the state of Bihar. The region has a moderately extreme climate. Winters are cool and summers are hot. The region is quite dry and receives rains during South West Monsoon.
Light showers occur during the Rabi season. Paddy is the main crop cultivated here. Apart from paddy, the other crops grown here are chickpeas, lentils, pigeon peas, field peas, toria, mustard, linseed, etc. As you can see the agricultural productivity is diverse here. It falls under Agro Climatic Zone III.
As you can see, the potential is huge. However, 90% of the irrigation is done by tube wells here. Lately, the tube wells are becoming dry during summer. For this reason, it is essential that Bhojpur chooses climate-resilient crops like millets. And GoI is promoting millets on a large scale. Thus, the festival was conducted here.
KVK Crop Diversification
Also, Krishi Vigyan Kendra has rooted deeply in these areas. They have promoted crop diversification on a large scale here. The KVKs have introduced new varieties of oil seeds, pulses, cereals, horticultural crops, etc. For instance, in paddy, the KVK introduced Rajendra Sweta, Rajendra MAhsuri, etc. In lentils, K-75, HD-2463, etc were introduced. Apart from this the KVK also established poultry units. Vermicomposting and zero tillage are also being done here.