Millets, the miracle grains from the Southern drylands, Western and Eastern plains, North Eastern and Northern uplands of India connected the farmers, scientists, activists, media persons and researchers from different states of India during the 1st annual convention of All India Millet Sisters (AIMS) Network. This convention was organised by Millet Network of India in collaboration with North East Network and ICAR-NEH, Meghalaya at Umiam premises of ICAR-NEH, Shillong, Meghalaya from May 23-24, 2018 to address the Current Concerns, Challenges & Some Silver Linings of Millets. The logo of the AIMS Network was jointly unfurled by the women farmers of 12 states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, & West Bengal. During this convention 16 women millet farmers were felicitated by eminent women leaders, journalists and activists from different parts of India. After 2 days of intensive deliberations on the multi-dimensional understanding of millets from the experiences of millet producing farmers, agro-scientists, millet marketing agencies, women’s collectives, and state functionaries engaged in millet promotion, convergence of some ideas emerged. The deliberations were steered by NGO leaders, experienced farmers and community activists along with the field scientists from ICAR-NEH, and few government functionaries. The interactive interface between farmers on the ground, policy framers and field scientists was effectively engaging. At the end of the 2 day convention, a declaration was collectively charted out to ensure that the demands of the women farmers specifically engaged in the millet based eco-system is taken into necessary action by the concerned stakeholders.
UMIAM DECLARATION OF MILLET SISTERS
1st Annual Convention of All India Millet Sisters (AIMS) Network
May 23-24, 2018
Dr D N Borthakur Conference Hall, ICAR-NEH, Umiam,
In association with:
Millet Network of India
North East Network
Having met and discussed, MILLETS: Current Concerns, Challenges & Some Silver Linings at the ICAR-NEH, Umiam, Meghalaya on May 23-24, 2018, we the millet sisters, civil society groups, scientists, activists and environmentalists from 12 states -- Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, & West Bengal have resolved on the Umiam Declaration of Millet Sisters.
We demand that the government acknowledges that millets are our heritage crops, multifaceted in their extraordinary food value, and in providing nutrition, fodder, livelihood and ecological security in these climate-stressed times.
The government should support the millet-based biodiverse agriculture practised by milllions of small women farmers who are custodians of India’s rich lore of millet farming practices.
Given the shocking burden of malnutrition among children in India, which is the highest in the world, the government should give primacy to the use of millets in the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)and Mid-Day-MealScheme. This would ensure a healthy new generation.
Commission on Agricultural Cost Prices should fix the price of millets taking into consideration their nutritional and ecological values.
To support women millet farmers, the government should:
Help women’s collectives to set up affordable processing units to reduce the drudgery of millet processing;
Ensure procurement of millets at the MSP fixed by government
Also set up, community-based procurement centres that are easily accessed and controlled by women cultivators.
Include millet farming as a guaranteed MGNREGS work to support employment of farmers in millet farming.
Government should utilise its public media network to promote awareness of the nutrtional value of millets among consumers specially since this is the National Year of Millets. This should include popular programmes on millet recipes.
We demand support for research that establishes the scientific values of our traditional knowledge on millet cultivation.
We demand that Indian Institute of Millet Research stop hobnobbing its research on genetic modification of millet crops and instead focus on the enormous wealth of women’s knowledge on the millet ecology.
We call upon all agricultural research institutions to work on the economic valuation of millet ecology in their academic and research programmes.
We greatly appreciate the fact that government has recognised the signal contribution of peasant women farmers and bestowed honours on them. We would be more honoured if the government implemented our demands listed here to ensure a more secure future for us and the nation at large.
Ms Saraswati, SABALA, Vizianagaram District, Andhra Pradesh
Ms Suseela, Millet Sister,Mamidipalem, Visakhapatnam,Andhra Pradesh
Ms K. Narayanamma, Millet Sister,Kothavalasa, Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh
Ms I. Maheswari, Millet Sister,Pedabayalu, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Ms T. Kamala Kumari, Millet Sister,Vepada, Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh
Mr Jogi Naidu, SVDS, Anakapally, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Dr Monisha Behal, North East Network, Guwahati, Assam
Ms Moon Bora, North East Network, Assam
Ms Usha Lakra, North East Network, Assam
Ms Anurita Pathak, North East Network, Assam
Mr Ritupon Gogoi, FST, Guwahati, Assam
Mr Tushar Pancholi, Paryavaran Vikas Kendra, Gujarat
Mr Anil Barot, Millet Sister Rajkot, Gujarat
Ms Nita Boart, Millet Sister, Rajkot, Gujarat
Ms Khatija Akbar, Millet Sister,Rajkot, Gujarat
Mr Nekram, LVK, Nanj Teh, Kassag, Himachal Pradesh
Ms Ramkali, Millet Sister, Nanj Teh, Kassag, Himachal Pradesh
Ms Shivamma Millet Sister, Yadgir district, Karnataka
Ms Jayamala, Millet Sister, Yadgir district, Karnataka
Mr Yadaiah, PRAG JOTHI, Yadgir district, Karnataka
Ms Mary, Millet Sister, KRRS, Bidar, Karnataka
Ms Gopamma, Millet Sister KRRS, Bidar, Karnataka
Mr Prabudas, KRRS, Bidar, Karnataka
Mr Prakash, KRRS, Bidar, Karnataka
Dr T N Prakash, Chair, Agriculture Price Commission, Bangalore, Karnataka
Ms Sheelu Francis, Women's Collective, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Ms Palaniammal, Millet Sister, Koltapatti, Tutucoran, Tamil Nadu
Dr Suresh Reddy, Associate Professor, Centre for Economics & Social Studies, Hyderabad, Telangana
Ms Mogulamma, Millet Sister, Potpalli Village, Sangareddy District, Telangana
Ms Rojamma, Deccan Development Society, Telangana
Ms Mamatha, Sangham Organics, Pastapur, Telangana
Ms Tejasvi, Deccan Development Society, Telangana
Ms Reenamma, Millet Sister & Community Film Maker, Rechintal, Telangana
Ms Ranamma, Millet Sister & Community Film Maker, Telangana
Ms Genaral Narasamma, Sangham Radio, Machnoor, Telangana
Ms Jayasri, Deccan Development Society, Telangana
Ms Chinna Narasamma, Millet Sister, Community Media Trust, Telangana
Ms Mayuri, Film Maker, Pastapur, Telangana
Mr Janardhan, PILUPU, Bhongir, Telangana
Ms Gopamma, Millet Sister,Bhongir, Telangana
Ms Masru, Millet Sister,Bhongir, Telangana
Ms Sumalatha, Millet Sister, KK Thanda, Bhongir,Telangana
Mr Nimmaiah, PEACE, Bhongir, Telangana
Mr Shiba Prasad, Ahinsa Club, Odisha
Ms Anitha Sahu, Millet Sister, Ahinsa Club, Odisha
Ms Betikhai Bariha, Millet Sister, Ahinsa Club, Odisha
Ms Trisha Paladhi, AGRAGAMEE, Odisha
Ms Sumani Jhodia, Millet Sister, Odisha
Ms Sushila Majhi, Millet Sister, Odisha
Mr Narayan Barik, NIRMAN, Odisha
Ms Paramiti Mahji, Millet Sister, Community Leader, Kandhamal, Odisha
Ms Sramyuli Mallick, Community Leader, Kandhamal, Odisha
Mr Aman Singh, KRAPAVIS, Rajasthan
Dr Bijoya Bhattacharjee, HOD.Center for Biotech.
Dr Subhash babu, Scientist(Agro),ICAR – NEH, Umiam, Meghalaya
Dr Bagish kumar, Scientist -social science, ICAR- NEH, Umiam, Meghalaya
Mr Habandajop Lyngdoh, SURE, Jowai
Mr Raj Parsah, SURE, Jowai
Ms Amlin G. Momin, Farmer, Sasatgre, West Garohills. Meghalaya
Ms Mitjilima G. Momin, Farmer, Sasatgre, West Garohills. Meghalaya
Dr Vishram ram, Professor, CPGS, Cental Agriculture university, Umiam, Meghalaya
Ms Merrysha Nongrum, NESFAS Meghalaya
Mr Jankpreet, NESFAS Meghalaya
Ms Jesenta Rani, Farmer, East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya
Ms Mesilhi-u, Millet Sister, Nagaland
Ms Neipelhi-u, Millet Sister, Nagaland
Ms Dikhwetso-u, Millet Sister, Nagaland
Ms Songulo-u, Millet Sister, Nagaland
Ms Ghaluta, Millet Sister, Nagaland
Ms Lupisii, Millet Sister, Nagaland
Ms Vepralu Sapu, Millet Sister, Nagaland
Ms Thuyevolusapu, Millet Sister, Nagaland
Ms BK Chettri, KKKS, Kalimpong, West Bengal
Ms Pavitra Sherpa, Farmer, Kalimpong, West Bengal
Ms Manjari Subbha, Farmer, Kalimpong, West Bengal
Ms Samhita Barooah, Freelance Journalist, Guwahati