NAGAON, Sept 19: In a significant step towards expanding millet cultivation, increasing value addition, and enhancing the marketing of millets, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Assam Regional Office, has successfully implemented a Model Millets Project (MMP) in the Borbeel cluster region of the Kathiatoli Development Block, Nagaon. This initiative, which focuses on foxtail millet production, processing, and promotion, has been carried out in collaboration with Kolong Kapili, with guidance and support from KVK-Nagaon and the department of Agriculture.
The project was inaugurated in February 2023 by GM-NABARD, Nabin Kr Roy. Following a successful foxtail millet harvest and processing, a dedicated millet brand from Nagaon district called ‘Naba Borbeel Kani Dhaan’ was officially launched. The inauguration ceremony was conducted by the district commissioner of Nagaon, Narendra Kr Shah, in the presence of various dignitaries, including DDC-Nagaon Satyajit Chetia, DDM-NABARD Rajendar Perna, and Dr Niranjan Deka, the principal scientist and head of KVK, Nagaon.
Rajendar Perna, DDM-NABARD, explained that around 50 farmers with a minimum of 3 bighas of land each were mobilised for the project based on a baseline survey and their interest in millet cultivation. The selected farmers were provided with vermicomposting units, fertilisers, foxtail millet seeds, super bags, motor pulveriser machines, and dehusker cum polisher machines. The project also included land preparation and capacity-building training for the beneficiaries.
Additionally, NABARD, KVK, Nagaon, and the implementing agency provided continuous support to the farmers until the crop cutting exercise. The harvested millets were processed and preserved in a seed bank, serving both as consumable grains and seeds for future sowing by farmers.
Rajendar Perna further revealed NABARD’s plans to send selected farmers on exposure visits to reputed institutions to explore various processing options and facilitate the sale of their products through e-commerce portals like ONDC and Amazon.
Dr Niranjan Deka from KVK, Nagaon, along with beneficiary farmers, shared their experiences in implementing the project and appreciated NABARD’s vision in launching a distinct millets brand for Nagaon district.
In his remarks, DC Narendra Kr Shah commended NABARD and the implementing agency for their successful project execution and the introduction of Nagaon district’s unique millets brand. He also urged bankers to extend crucial credit support to enable more farmers to engage in millet cultivation and processing, thereby improving their income.