BHUBANESWAR: Two unique initiatives of the State government, ‘Odisha Millets Mission’ and ‘Mo Upakari Bagicha’, to improve the health and nutritional status of targeted population have featured in the NITI Aayog’s Health and Nutrition Practice Insights report.
Odisha is the first State to introduce millets in public distribution system and Niti Aayog has recognised it as a model State in this regard. The mission launched in 2017 has now been extended to 72 blocks in 14 tribal-dominated districts. The National Millet Mission started in 2018 has given further boost to the campaign in the State.
The Odisha Millet Mission is a unique partnership model wherein the government, academia and civil society have joined together to implement the programmes through farmer producers organisations (FPOs).
“This project emerged from various consultations held between government, academia and civil society to increase household consumption of millets by reviving millet production in identified areas and improving their productivity by means of improved agronomic practices followed by setting up decentralised processing units to reduce drudgery of processing of millets to add value to them and make them market ready,” the report said.
“Nutrition gardens became the source of constant supply of nutritious and vitamin enriched vegetables for disadvantageous sections who were earlier deprived of this opportunity and had restricted their consumption to largely cereals and pulses to certain extent,” the report said.
Expressing happiness on the State’s success, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik tweeted, “Odisha Govt’s flagship programmes-Odisha Millets Mission & Mo Upakari Bagicha have featured as success stories in a recent @NITIAayogm report titled ‘Health & Nutrition Practice Insights’. The report praises the schemes, highlighting how they brought real changes at the grassroots”.
In another tweet, the Chief Minister said, “The national policy body has observed that @MilletsOdisha effort has led to a rapid increase in the number of farmers growing millets. Similarly #MoUpakariBagicha is improving the dietary diversity among women and children in the State.”