Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said that Odisha is a pioneer in designing a people centric millet mission with focus on livelihoods and nutrition of our tribal communities.
He said this while inaugurating International Convention on Millets in Bhubaneswar. The CM inaugurated the convention by planting a sapling. The convention aims at preparing a global roadmap for millets.
The CM said, “My government will put all the efforts to make Odisha become a centre for excellence and contribute to economic growth, wellbeing, and health of the people of Odisha.”
Welcoming the national and international guests, the CM said that Millets are traditional grains, climate resilient and a power house of nutrition. Millets can play an important role to achieve nutritional security. Humble millets are emerging as hope for our future.
Saying that the United Nations has declared 2023 as International Year of Millets, he stressed that Odisha is the first state to organize such an International Convention involving all the stakeholders.
Focusing on state’s initiatives, he said that Odisha government always prioritized the welfare of every segment of society. We launched Odisha Millets Mission in 2017 with a focus to revive the millets. For us, promotion of millets is about justice and equity to rain-fed farmers of Odisha. To encourage millet cultivation, he continued, we have increased the direct benefit incentives for millets and laid out assured procurement of ragi. The state government is investing over Rs. 2500 Crore for providing income and livelihood support to farmers.
He called upon all to spread word about the millet mission so every eligible farmer can become part of this journey.
Praising the role of Mission Shakti Women Self Help Groups in the millet value chain, he said that under the brand of “Millet Shakti”, Mission Shakti Groups have showed the world how millet-based enterprises can play an important role in appealing to taste buds of consumers and improve livelihoods.
The CM hoped a roadmap for millets for the future would be prepared at this international convention.
He commended the efforts of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment for organizing this grand event and thanked all the stakeholders and organizations who have supported our efforts in taking millets to millions. The Chief Minister awarded Sundergarh, Koraput, Rayagada and Nuapada for best production district in millets. Sundergarh topped the list among district. He also released a Coffee Table Book, Special Postal Cover. He felicitated 5 millet farmers for achieving exceptional success in millet production.
Speaking on the occasion, Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment Minister Shri Ranendra Pratap Swain said that that CM’s vision has led to setting up of Odisha Millets Mission. Now millets are cultivate in 177 blocks of all district. Mission Shakti women are leading millets cultivation and processing, he said.
Govt of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Secretary Manoj Ahuja said that Odisha Millets Mission is not just a success in Odisha and India, it has also created buzz across the globe.
ICAR DG Himansu Pathak said that ICAR will provide all support for growth of millets. ICAR has developed 125 varieties of 9 millets in last 5 years, he added.
Development Commissioner Anu Garg said that Odisha Millets are an intrinsic part of tribals’ food culture in Odisha. We will encourage farmers to take up millet farming in a big way.
Food and Agriculture Organisaion Representative in India Takayuki Hagiwara said that India and Odisha are champions of millets. It can transform the agricultural landscape of India, he added.
Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Principal Secretary Arabinda Padhee delivered the welcome address and director Agriculture and Food Production Prem Chandra Choudhary proposed the vote of thanks.
International music composer, grammy award winner Rickey Kej, and celebrity chef Vikash Khanna also joined the programme as brand ambassadors.