Govt. Stresses more on increasing Millets consumption than production

A launching ceremony of National Mission on Nutri Cerels was done during the National Workshop on Nutri Cereals at Pune on 28th September 2018. It was launched by Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Agriculture Minister, Government of India. The event saw representation from senior officials from many state governments. Apart from government representatives, agriculture experts, civil society organisations, entrepreneurs and farmers participated in the workshop. 

Dr Saurabh Garg IAS, Principal Secretary, Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment spoke about the initiatives of the Government of Odisha in reviving the millets.  He said it is unique programme that emerged from consultations between civil society (RRA Network & ASHA Network), Academia (NCDS) and Government of Odisha. The programme was also designed based on the successful grassroots experiences.

Dr M Muthukumar IAS, Director, Agriculture & Food Production, Odisha gave detailed presentation on the Odisha Millet Mission. He said that major objectives of the mission is to revive millets on farms and plates. It is one of the first agriculture initiatives whose primary objective is to increase local consumption instead of production. He said objectives of the OMM are

1. Increasing consumption of millets in rural and urban areas

2. Setting up decentralized processing units

3. Improving productivity

4. Better marketing for better price realization

5. Inclusion of millets in ICDS, MDM and PDS.

He said that Government of Odisha has already allocated 100 crores for procurement of millets. As MSP is there only for ragi, in FY 2018-19 Ragi will be procured through TDCC. Farmer registration is in process. An IT system has been set in place to ensure money is transferred to farmers within 3 days. An inter departmental committee has been formed at secretary level and director level to track the progress on the fortnightly basis.

Many promotional and rallies are being taken up at village level to change the mindset of people around millets. Massive awareness campaigns have also been launched.

Dr Ashok Dalwai has appreciated the work of Odisha Millet Mission. He requested all the states to adopt Odisha Millet Mission. He asked all the states to learn from Odisha for reviving millets in farms and on plates. He requested Government of Odisha to issue guidelines of Odisha Millet Mission so that they can be shared with other state governments.

Government of India will also establish a Centre of Excellence on Millets under leadership of IIMR at Odisha to support Odisha Millet Mission.

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