BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to make Millet Mission sustainable, the State Government has decided to create a marketing facility for farmers to sell their produce at a remunerative price. The decision was taken at a high power committee meeting on Odisha Millets Mission held under the chairmanship of Development Commissioner Suresh Chandra Mahapatra here on Thursday. After deliberation on various aspects of the mission, the meeting decided to explore the possibility of its integration with different government schemes to increase millet consumption and market linkage with bigger agency for the sustainability of millet cultivation.
The Development Commissioner emphasised on creating market linkage for millet through Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS) which has been assigned the job to find out its demand on the online platform. He further suggested conducting an awareness drive on the health benefits of ragi to enhance the consumption habit of stakeholders.
From July the State Government started distributing ragi at `1 as a pilot project through the public distribution system (PDS) in seven districts to improve nutritional consumption in the State. Every PDS cardholder is entitled to get one kg ragi at Rs 1 in Gajapati, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nuapada and Rayagada districts. However, in Malkangiri district the cardholder is supplied two kg ragi. It was decided to conduct a survey to get feedback from people.
Agriculture Production Commissioner Pradipta Mohapatra suggested the opening of a common procurement center for paddy and millet, and if that is not possible he suggested the creation of a sub-center for millet. The State Government has planned to procure one lakh quintal ragi during Kharif season.
Ragi ‘ladoos’ will also be a part of childrens’ diet in Anganwadi centres. The committee has also proposed to add millets in the mid-day meal in districts covered under district mineral foundation (DMF). A national conference on nutri-cereal will also be held on World Food Day on October 16 at Krushi Bhawan here.
Special programme for promotion of millets in tribal areas was launched by the State Government in 2017-18 in 30 blocks of seven districts. It was later extended to 72 blocks in 2018-19 covering 14 districts. Programme in 65 blocks of 13 districts is funded under State Plan while seven blocks of Keonjhar district are funded through DMF fund.
● Govt to procure one lakh quintal ragi in kharif season
● Adding millets in MDM in districts covered under DMF proposed
● National conference on nutri-cereal on October 16 at Krushi Bhawan