13-Dec-2011

Millets - Back To The Future for Dharwad Farmers


Till the late ‘80s, millets were a crucial part of agricultural produce in the Dharwad region before cash crops like maize, improved varieties of cotton and soya bean took over. Today, farmers and consumers of Dharwad district are rediscovering the importance of millets, writes Anitha Pailoor 
Angadi says, “When we got a month’s income as a day’s wages, we forgot all about millets in our daily diet. Cooking rice was an easy and quicker way out. Now we have understood that the time saved is now spent in the waiting lounges of clinics.” 
It may just be me, but even the names sound musical:
He explains, “Jowar, little millet (saave), foxtail millet (navane), pearl millet (sajje) and to a certain extent, finger millet (ragi) and proso millet (baraga) formed a key part of the agricultural produce in Dharwad district till the late Eighties. When cash crops like maize, improved variety of cotton and soya bean were introduced, the tricky post-cultivation processes of raising millets turned out to be tedious and cumbersome for farmers.

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