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Lucknow, Oct 27: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday said that Shri Anna (millet) has held significance since the Vedic era and stressed that when the world faces a food crisis in future the usefulness of coarse cereals will increase.

Inaugurating the three-day state level Shri Anna Mahotsav, exhibition and workshop at Indira Gandhi Pratishthan, the CM said that the Covid period has imparted a significant lesson: the more we embrace an artificial lifestyle, the more susceptible we become to epidemics. “UP has the potential to emerge as a hub for Shri Anna production,” he said.

He said, “We must adopt a natural habitat and lifestyle and Shri Anna will be very helpful in this regard. There is a need for research and investigation to increase its productivity.”

Yogi said, “Three-day Shri Anna Mahotsav is being organised on the occasion of the 34th foundation day of the UP Agricultural Research Council, which is working for research and development in the field of agriculture. This festival will become a medium of comprehensive change in the lives of the farmers of UP.”

He said that till the sixth and seventh decades of the last century, coarse grains were produced in large quantities. “This was part of our daily lives. However, due to population growth and a slowdown in research and development, its production decreased,” he said.

The CM pointed out that while India has made great strides in achieving food self-sufficiency, it has faced adverse consequences, such as increased diseases resulting from excessive chemical fertilizer use.

He said that these grains are produced even in areas with less water. “We need large scale research and investigation in this direction to increase its production,” he said.

Yogi expressed his delight at the widespread adoption of Shri Anna in various forms within every household. “Substantial efforts have been initiated in this regard, leading to the creation of innovative products from millets. Not only are these products nutritious, but they also offer a delightful culinary experience,” he said.

Highlighting the transformation of Krishi Vigyan Kendras, he said, “Until 2017, the condition of these centers was bad. Today, a new spirit of competition has ignited among them. Agricultural universities play a crucial role in this positive change. Intensive efforts are underway to deliver high-quality seeds from the finest research institutions to benefit the state’s three crore farmers.”

The CM urged to set up labs in every Krishi Vigyan Kendra and Agricultural University for the certification of organic products. He said that the government is promoting natural farming and ‘Govansh’ (bovine) can play a significant role in it.

He felicitated 35 farmer producer organisations working in the area of Shri Anna during the event. Apart from this, assistance of Rs 95 lakh each was provided to five Krishi Vigyan Kendras of the state (Jhansi, Lalitpur, Banda, Hamirpur, and Ghazipur) for millet processing plants.

Besides, the farmer producer organisations that trained and encouraged a large number of farmers for millet farming were also felicitated by Yogi.

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 Commissioner Manoj Kumar Singh, Sanjay Aggarwal, Dr Devesh Chaturvedi, and vice chancellors of agricultural universities were present were present on the occasion.