BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to enhance farmers’ income and deal with nutritional deficiency, the State Government has expanded Odisha Millet Mission to 32 blocks of five districts.Last year, 30 blocks in Rayagada, Nuapada, Malkangiri, Koraput, Kandhmal, Kalahandi and Gajpati districts were included in the Mission. The mission activities have been extended to another 25 blocks of Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj, Balangir and Ganjam districts this year. Seven blocks in Keonjhar have also been included in the programme. A total of 62 blocks in 12 districts have been brought under the ambit of the millet mission.
The proposal for further extension of the programme to some blocks of Bargarh and Nabarangpur district is under active consideration of the Government, said Principal Secretary of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Saurav Garg. The mission activities were reviewed at a high level meeting here chaired by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi through video conferencing with Collectors of the districts concerned.
Garg said Farmer’s Interaction and Advisory Centres ( FIACs) have been operationalised at block and GP levels involving field officers of Agriculture, Panchayati Raj, Water Resources, Cooperation, Food supplies and Consumer Welfare as well as Fisheries and Animal Resource Development departments.
The village level agriculture workers (VLAWs) have been directed to make themselves available on a specific day in GP office for interaction with farmers and resolve their issues then and there. The block level FIACs have been asked to meet twice in a month to discuss and resolve issues flagged by VLAWs and farmers.
Issues requiring higher level intervention should immediately be communicated to proper authorities without delay, Garg said.Padhi directed the Collectors to finalise action plan of their districts and register millet farmers for field demonstration activities. Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan advised to identify storage and procurement points for millet in advance. Earlier in March, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sanctioned `100 crore for the ongoing millets mission that will benefit around five lakh small and marginal farmers.