Minister Ramanath Rai Inaugurates Organic and Millets Trade Fair

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Minister Ramanath Rai Inaugurates Organic and Millets Trade Fair at Kadri Park

Mangaluru: The two-day Organic and Millets Trade Fair was organized by the horticulture department at the Kadri Park here on December 23.

The programme began with an invocation. Joint Director of the Horticulture department Dr H Kempegowda welcomed the gathering.

The programme was inaugurated by the District Minister In-charge B Ramanath Rai by lighting the traditional lamp along with other dignitaries followed by pouring of Millets into the baskets.

Addressing the gathering Ramanath Rai said, “Earlier in Dakshina Kannada most of the people were cultivating paddy but nowadays we see only a few paddy fields here and there. When I was young there were only a few landlords, but after the land reformation act, Karnataka has benefitted in a big way. I am a progressive farmer but I do not have any other business. Some say that they are farmers and they have other business too. Today the Horticulture department has organized a two-day Organic and Millets trade fair which will encourage the farmers to grow organic products for which there should be good returns.”

In his keynote address, Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said, “We have organized this two-day Organic and Millets Trade Fair to bring awareness among the public about the importance of organic products. It will also encourage the farmers to grow more organic products. Sometimes the farmers do not get a proper market for their products so they do not show interest to grow organic products. Nowadays we see most of the people are diabetic or suffer from other diseases which affect us because of our food habits. If we consume organic food we can remain healthy. People of this district are intellectuals, they should use their intelligence in developing good food habits to remain healthy. If our food habits are good we can lead a healthy life. The mantra for a healthy life is, “To grow smart, eat smart and live smart”.

Minister Krishna Byre Gowda further said, “Organic produce and Millets are the food of the 21st Century. The main aim of the fair is to showcase the organic and millet production potential of the state and increase the popularity of such grains across the country, by building a centralized connection between farmers and consumers. In India, Karnataka is the first and only state to have an organic farming policy. We have taken measures to roping in NGOs to work with farmers on Organic cultivation. We have also taken measures to create organic farmers federations where the farmers can directly connect with the retailers to avoid the role of middlemen. We also want to build a bridge between the farmers and the retailers.”

Minister Krishna Byre Gowda further said, “Earlier people used to die with communicable diseases but now most of the people die because of lifestyle based diseases and the medical field has benefitted by this. Maida, Sugar and white rice are invitations for diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease. Here in Mangaluru, the food habits are different than other districts. Here people do not use millets or Coarse serials which are highly nutritious. Millets are grown in dryland with minimum water and fertilizers during cultivation. Millets are also called as drought-tolerant crops. I have requested the local MLA to hold the Organic fair every week so that farmers should grow more organic products and get a good price for their produce”.

Addressing the gathering MLA J R Lobo said, “Mangalureans have the knowledge of Organic products. People of Mangaluru visit other countries and adopt good food habits. Mangalureans are business minded and they evaluate the profit for any product. Jasmines are exported from Mangaluru to Gulf countries. As minister Krishna Byre Gowda said that we should start Organic Fair in Mangluru every day, I assure the minister that we will start it soon.”

Narayana Poojary delivered the vote of thanks. Former Minister Abhaychandra Jain, Mayor Kavitha Sanil and others were also present.

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