Bhubaneswar : Based on the recommendation of India, United Nations declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. Odisha has been a forerunner in the promotion of millets and has been recognised nationally and globally. The chief minister launched Odisha Millets Mission in 2017 to revive millets in farms and plates. Millets are small seeded cereals which are a powerhouse of nutrition.

Crops like Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Foxtail, and several others are known as cereal crops or millet. Millets are highly farmer and environmental-friendly as they grow with little attention, minimal water, and are climate resilient. Millets are rich in iron, zinc, calcium and with their high fibre content, they can play an important role in addressing lifestyle diseases. “

The ‘Odisha Millet Mission’ was launched in 2017 and the government of Odisha has taken multiple initiatives, going out of its way to promote the consumption and production of millets in the state. Odisha is harnessing the power of Women’s self-help groups to revive the millet in households through WSHGs of the Mission Shakti Department. Through the Millet Shakti initiative, it is taking diverse millet dishes to consumers in urban and rural areas.

The inauguration of the Millet Shakti outlet and Millet Shakti cafe on the collectorate premises of the Ganjam district is the most recent achievement. 10 additional such cafés as well as six millet-based food trucks are operational and run by women’s self-help groups and FPOs. Through this, the government aims to promote gender equity among its citizens. The government is also collaborating with various renowned chefs and restaurants to provide training for the WSHGs.

Commenting on the mission, Chief Minister, Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik announced on Odisha Millet Day last year, that the millets mission would be implemented in all 30 districts of the state and that more farmers and organisations will be a part of it.

He also added “Mandia is a powerhouse of nutrition. Millet provides nutrition to everyone from children to elderly ones. Small and poor tribal farmers are involved in cultivation of millets. In order to improve their condition and ensure nutrition for the people, we have launched the Millet Mission. We are going to spend ₹2,800 crores in five years”

Farmers are supported through an incentive of Rs 26500 per ha for 5 years and Odisha Government also provides an assured market through ragi procurement. It celebrated diversity by recognising and supporting custodian farmers from our tribal community.