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Odisha Millets Mission: Reviving Millets In Farms And Plates

By Outlook Planet Desk May 02, 2023

The state government's initiative known as the "Odisha Millets Mission," which aimed to promote indigenous culture and millets consumption and production in Odisha, has been extremely successful

Odisha Millets Mission: Reviving Millets In Farms And Plates
Millet cultivation in Odisha. Image courtesy: Best practises in social sector: A compendium 2023
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"Best practices in social sector: A compendium 2023" has been published by NITI Aayog with assistance from UNDP India. It includes 75 best policies and practices from various states/UTs and chosen Ministries/Departments. 

Case studies that are creative, lasting, reproducible, and significant are highlighted in the volume. The success of the Odisha Millet Mission is highlighted in the case study that follows. 

Odisha Millet Mission (OMM) was launched through a multi-stakeholder participatory approach - a decentralized operational framework, and financial and institutional support from the government, to promote the production and consumption of millets in the state. OMM was initiated in 30 blocks covering 7 districts in 2017, which was extended to 84 blocks covering 15 districts by 2021. This is further scaled up to 143 blocks in 2022 covering 19 districts. OMM is implemented in close coordination with Mission Shakti Department (Involvement of WSHGs), Tribal Development Department (procurement and inclusion of millets in ST Hostels), Cooperation Department (storage support to FPOS through PACS), WCD Department (ICDS), S&ME Department (MDM), Food Supplies Department (Distribution in PDS), MSME Department (Start Ups & MSMEs), etc. Under the programme, each block in the state needs to cover at least 1000 hectares for millet production in 5 years.

Key components

1. Promoting Household-level consumption: Massive awareness campaigns at village and Gram Panchayat (GP) level through food festivals, millet recipe events, millet mother events, street plays etc. are taken up through WSHGs with active involvement of Anganwadi workers and village level influencers. 

2. Promotion of Decentralized Post Harvest & Processing facilities: Threshers and tarpaulins etc. are provided to WSHGs to provide post-harvest services to farmers at village and GP level. 3. Promotion of value addition enterprises: At GP levels/Block level, tiffin centers/kiosks are promoted through WSHGs/FPOs. At the district level, millet outlets/mobile outlets are promoted through FPOs. At the district level or urban towns, millet outlets/Millet Shakti restaurants are promoted through WSHG Federations. 

4. Improving productivity of millet crops: Crop demonstrations with improved agronomic practices such as system of millet intensification, line transplanting, line sowing and intercropping through natural farming practices are promoted. In addition, Custom hiring centres are promoted at GP level for making implements such as weeder, marker etc. available for farmers.

 5. Conservation and promotion of landraces: Participatory varietal trials are done with local landraces along with improved varieties under technical guidance of OUAT (Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology) and IIMR (Indian Institute of Millets Research). Local landraces preferred by farmers are then taken up for seed release and seed multiplication. 

6. Marketing and Exports: Village level cleaning and aggregation is done by WSHGs. This in turn is aggregated at block level by FPOs. FPOs generally supply market players/MSMEs in bulk quantities. In addition, FPOs have been registered as export agencies for targeting export markets.

7. Procurement and inclusion of millets in Government schemes: Under Odisha Millet Mission, Tribal development Cooperative Corporation Ltd has been chosen as nodal procurement agency. It partners with FPOs and WSHGs to procure finger millet (ragi). Procured finger millet is distributed in PDS and ICDS.

Impact

OMM reached out to 1.18 Lakh farmers covering 54,495 Hectare during FY 2021-22. It is planned to cover 1.50 Lakh farmers for an area of 81,700 Ha. 

Establishment of 1,042 units under threshing/ cleaning/ pulverizing and 188 millet value addition enterprises through WSHGs/FPOs. A sum of 169 community managed seed centres and 227 custom hiring centres established and managed by WSHGs and FPOs. 

Millet (Ragi) procurement of 6.39 Lakh Quintals from FY 2018-19 to FY 2021-22. 209.94 Crores have been transferred to farmers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) at the remunerative price. 

Under PDS, 1.10 Lakh quintals of Ragi was distributed to 50.60 Lakh ration card holders from FY 2019-20 to FY 2020-21. 5.14 Lakh quintal is expected to be distributed in FY 2022-23. Implementation and management of Ragi Ladoos inclusion programme in ICDS in Keonjhar and Sundargarh District covering 1.49 Lakh pre-school children. 

Awards and recognition

Odisha was recognized as ‘Best Millet Promoting State’ award at the National Convention on Nutri Cereals in 2021 by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and ICAR. 

Odisha was recognized as ‘Best State for Scaling Up Millet Mission’ award at the National Convention on Nutri Cereals in 2022 by the Ministry of Agriculture & FW and ICAR. 

The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India and NITI Aayog identified OMM as one of the best models and asked different state governments to adopt the OMM approach for promotion of millets. 

Government of India has set up a task force to understand the framework of Odisha Millets Mission and to revise the National submission on millets based on the learnings of OMM. 

World Food Programme identified OMM as one of the best practices that can be replicated in other states and other countries in Africa as part of South-South Collaboration.

(Excerpted from Best practices in social sector: A compendium - 2023; published by NITI Aayog and UNDP) 

 

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