UPL, an agrochemical and speciality chemicals company, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Republic of Guyana to establish a 200-acre ‘Millets Model Farm’.

The company will study various millet varieties to identify those that are suitable for cultivation and consumption in Guyana.

UPL will provide technical expertise and select agriculture inputs, while Guyana will provide land for the local farm operation.

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Unlike rice, millet production requires just half the water per acre, making it a water conservation crop. It can also withstand climatic conditions such as droughts, floods, heat stress and erratic rainfall. It saves on food loss and enhances farmers’ income.

According to the FAO, millets encompass a diverse group of cereals, including pearl, proso, foxtail, barnyard, little, kodo, browntop, finger and Guinea millets, besides fonio, sorghum (or great millet) and teff.

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They are an important source of nourishment for millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. They are deeply rooted in Indigenous Peoples’ culture and traditions and help guarantee food security in areas where they are culturally relevant. Millets are also nutritious because they consist of antioxidants, minerals, and protein.

Sagar Kaushik, President, Global Corporate and Industry Affairs from UPL, said the company is paving the path for millet cultivation and making important strides toward its vision of a food-secure world through this collaboration.

UPL’s expertise and technical knowhow will play a crucial role in ensuring the success of this initiative, which can provide a sustainable livelihood to smallholding farmers globally, he said.