Odisha Aims To Be Global Player In Millets By 2036; To Host International Meet From Nov 9

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is all set to chalk out a long-term action plan to transform the state into a leading global player in millet by the year 2036.

This was disclosed by principal secretary of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment department Arabinda Padhee. He said the department will prepare an action plan for Odisha Millets Mission (OMM) while setting milestones to be achieved by 2030 and 2036.

Briefing reporters on the first-ever International Conference on Millets (ICM) to be held in Bhubaneswar on November 9 and 10, Padhee said the aim is to make Odisha a leading player in millet globally by 2036.

Stating that the two-day convention will showcase millet diversity, he said forgotten foods and climate-resilient millet cropping systems of tribal communities will also be presented.

He further suggested the state’s focus should be on minor millets and creating an ecosystem which attracts investments and businesses without compromising on commitments to the most vulnerable.

For the first time in the world, a Foundation Guide on millets developed in collaboration with many international experts under the overall guidance of the Asia Pacific Association for Agriculture Research Institutions will be released at the convention, he said.

Odisha is going to be the first state in the country to organise a two-day international convention on millets on the theme ‘Millets – Ancient Grains for Modern Challenges’. Farmer engagement activities, display of emerging technologies and machinery and experience centres will be part of the convention.

The United Nations has declared 2023 as International Year of Millets. The state government is making all efforts to make Odisha a major global player in millets by 2036, revealed the department in a statement.

The convention will have farmer engagement activities, display of emerging technologies and machinery, experience centres, technical sessions, policy roundtables, B2B meetings, international food festival, quiz competition, cooking competition and many more, said Agriculture and Food Production Director Prem Chandra Chaudhary.

The convention will focus on the tribal heritage of millets and showcase the success stories of millet entrepreneurship of Mission Shakti Women Self-help Groups. UN agencies such as FAO, WFP, IFAD, Agri counsellors of Southeast Asian & Middle Eastern countries, African countries and European countries, embassies of several countries, Agriculture Secretaries of different states and many others will attend the convention, he added.

A unique musical concert on climate change and millet by three-time Grammy Award winner Ricky Kej is scheduled for the evening of November 9. Eminent Chef Vikas Khanna has also agreed to grace the occasion and interact with hotels, restaurants, food bloggers, WSHG members and Millet Mothers, revealed Chaudhary.

A special Coffee Table Book capturing the journey and success of Odisha Millets Mission, especially the work of Mission Shakti SHGs, which has been developed with funding and guidance of the World Food Programme, will also be released on the occasion. “The Indian School of Business and York University have studied the Odisha Millet Mission and have developed learning and evaluation reports. Their reports will also be released at the convention,” Padhee added.

Agriculture Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain said the state Cabinet has approved a proposal to spend Rs 2,687 crore in four years starting 2023-24 fiscal for promotion of millets in Odisha.

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