Bhubaneswar: Odisha has become the pioneer state in Millet Mission, which is aimed at promotion of millet production, consumption and marketing. Odisha will also be the leading state in upcoming International Year of Millet in 2023. This was revealed by the experts and dignitaries at a national workshop on Nutri-Cereals inaugurated by Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy at Krushi Bhawan here on the occasion of World Food Day Wednesday.
In his inaugural address, Tripathy said, “Odisha Millet Mission was launched in 2017 and now it has been extended to 72 blocks in 14 districts in tribal areas. Odisha is also the first state to introduce millets in public distribution system. The NITI Ayog has recognised Odisha as a progressive model state in nutri-cereals. The National Millet Mission started in 2018 provided further boost to the campaign in the state.”
Tripathy added, “Farmer is the key stakeholder in millet production and consumption activities; and as such, all activities of the Mission should be farmer centric.”
Agriculture Production Commissioner Pradeepta Kumar Mohapatra said, “Odisha Millet Mission is a unique initiative for revival and promotion of millet production. It has become a model for other states. The Centre has also recommended other states to follow Odisha model.”
Principal Secretary to Agriculture & Farmer’s Empowerment, Sourav Garg said, “Odisha Millet Mission is a unique partnership model wherein the government, academia and civil society have joined together to implement the programmes through farmer producer organisations. It is built on a comprehensive approach that includes production, processing, consumption, value addition and marketing. Around 50,000 farmers have been mobilised to take up millet cultivation with improved agronomic practices. The state government has already started procurement of surplus millet from the farmers.
This year the procurement target has been enhanced to I lakh tonne. The government is planning for inclusion of suitable millets in Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Mid-day Meal (MDM) and public distribution system (PDS).
Director, Country Relations of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Arabinda Kumar Padhi said millets are climate-resilient crops and can be grown under stressed rain-fed conditions. People of south and west Odisha possessed skill of millet production over generations.