On Friday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated the Shri Anna Mahotsav, a state-level exhibition and workshop held at the Indira Gandhi Pratishthan in Lucknow. This grand event was organized with the primary objective of encouraging the use of millets and acknowledging the commendable efforts of progressive farmers who have been pivotal in the promotion of millet production.
During the inauguration, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath shed light on the historical importance of Shri Anna, tracing its roots back to the Vedic era. He emphasized that millets, often referred to as Shri Anna, had played a vital role in the diets of ancient India. He also underscored the potential role of millets in addressing future global food crises, given their nutritional value and resilience to adverse environmental conditions.
Yogi Adityanath, a strong advocate of adopting a natural lifestyle, highlighted that Shri Anna could play a significant role in this endeavor. He stressed the need for research efforts to enhance the productivity of millets, in line with the government’s commitment to promoting natural farming.
As part of the event, the Chief Minister toured the exhibition, which featured millet producers from various regions of the state. The Shri Anna Mahotsav, which is scheduled to span three days, coincides with the 34th foundation day of the Uttar Pradesh Agricultural Research Council, an organization dedicated to agricultural research and development. Yogi Adityanath believes that this festival has the potential to bring about comprehensive changes in the lives of farmers in Uttar Pradesh.
During the event, Chief Minister Adityanath advocated for the establishment of laboratories in every Krishi Vigyan Kendra and Agricultural University for the certification of organic products. He also underscored the government’s commitment to promoting natural farming and emphasized the significant role of ‘govansh’ (cattle) in this endeavor.
Yogi Adityanath pointed out that in the past, coarse grains, particularly millets, were produced abundantly and formed an integral part of people’s daily lives. However, due to factors like population growth and a slowdown in research and development, millet production declined over the years, leading to an over-reliance on other crops.
The Chief Minister acknowledged that while India has made substantial progress in achieving food self-sufficiency, it has also faced adverse consequences, including an increase in diseases resulting from the excessive use of chemical fertilizers. This recognition has prompted the government to focus on natural farming and promoting the cultivation of millets.
During the ceremony, Yogi Adityanath honored 35 farmers’ organizations that have been diligently working in the field of ‘Shri Anna.’ In addition to this recognition, financial assistance of Rs 95 lakh each was granted to five Krishi Vigyan Kendras in the state, namely Jhansi, Lalitpur, Banda, Hamirpur, and Ghazipur, to facilitate the setting up of millet-processing plants.
The event witnessed the participation of several dignitaries, including State Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi, MSME Minister Rakesh Sachan, Minister of State for Agriculture Baldev Singh Aulakh, UP Agricultural Research Council Chairman Captain Vikas Gupta, Agriculture Production Commissioners Manoj Kumar Singh and Sanjay Aggarwal, along with Dr. Devesh Chaturvedi and vice-chancellors of agricultural universities.
Shri Anna Mahotsav serves as a platform to highlight the historical importance of millets, their role in addressing future food challenges, the call for embracing a natural lifestyle, and the imperative for research and assistance in millet production. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s vision for promoting millets and sustainable farming practices is poised to make a significant impact on agriculture in Uttar Pradesh and beyond.