GUWAHATI: With a view to expand and increase millet cultivation across the state, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma launched the Assam Millet Mission at a function held in Guwahati on Wednesday.

Along with launching the Millet Mission, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also inaugurated six Soil Testing and Quality Control Laboratory at Bongaigaon, Morigaon, Udalguri, Golaghat, Karimganj and Darrang and two knowledge centres at Dhemaji and Titabor virtually at the same programme.

Synchronizing with the programme, the Assam chief minister also started the process of distributing 126 combined harvester, 1000 mini trucks, 450 village level farm machinery bank, 12000 Solar PV Pump Set, 8500 five HP Diesel Pump set, 5091 power tillers, seeds 223963 quintals, 1461 multipurpose pulveriser.

Speaking on the occasion, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “In the annals of agriculture history of the state, it is a historic day. The day which marks the launching of Assam Millet Mission is targeted to raise nutrition quotient and doubling of farmers’ income. The mission will also increase crop productivity and contribute to crop diversification.”

The Assam chief minister said that the mission has been launched in synergy with Prime Minister’s aim of Atmanirbharta (self-sufficiency).

With the launch of the millet mission, the farmers of Assam can diversify their cropping practices and other than conventional crops, they can extend their farming to grow millets.

He also congratulated the Assam agriculture department for taking the initiatives in launching the millet mission which in the beginning will be practised in 25000 hectare crop land.

Subsequently it will be extended to 50000 hectare of farm land in Assam.

He also said that the knowledge centres he inaugurated today will help the farmers of Assam to gain knowledge and handholding about millet farming.

He informed that in the coming days 96 more knowledge centres will be set up across the state under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) for quantum leap in agriculture production.

Specifying his government’s initiatives for the welfare of the farming community, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma urged upon the farmers to take the advantage of Mission Basundhara 2.0 and convert the status of their lands to patta land.

He also informed that from next year, his government has set the MSP for paddy at Rs 2040 per quintal.

The Assam chief minister also urged the farmers to plant trees of different varieties example sal, agar etc around their farm land which besides giving them commercial benefits will also mark as demarcation of their lands.

He also asked them to diversify in palm farming. Moreover, considering the huge demands of lemon, bhut jolokia, joha rice, he asked the farmers to grow these crops abundantly to become economically self-sufficient.

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