With an aim to promote nutrition-rich millets, Agriculture and Farmer’s Empowerment Principal Secretary Dr Arabinda Kumar Padhee has requested all Government departments to include millet-based snacks in the official meetings and conferences.
Dr Padhee has written a letter to the Additional Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary and Secretary of all the departments in this regard.
Under the guidance of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment is implementing the flagship initiative, the Odisha Millets Mission (OMM) in 19 districts of the State.
The Government of India has also asked the States to adopt the Odisha model for the promotion of millets. Besides, 2023 has been declared as the International Year of Millets (IYOM) by the United Nations, he pointed out.
Padhee further stated that the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment took several initiatives for celebration and revalorization of consumption of millets in the run up to IYOM 2023.
One of the key interventions under OMM is promotion of value addition enterprises through women SHGs under Mission Shakti, he stated.
As part of the collaboration, he said, Millet Shakti outlets are being established in different parts of the State including one outlet in Krushi Bhavan anchored by Maa Shaktimayee WSHG, which has been recently recognized as best WSHG millet value addition initiative by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Government of India.
Stating his department has already started serving millet based snacks in all meetings at Krushi Bhavan, Padhee requested the administrative head of different departments to consider inclusion of nutrition-rich millet snacks in their official meetings.
The departments can add millet-based products like cookies, mixture, sticks, khurma. nimki, sev, pitha, chatua etc, which are extremely tasty and have found wide acceptance among the consumers, he said.
It would also be a great economic opportunity for the Mission Shakti WSHGs, trained under OMM, to supply the millet-based snacks to various departments. This will also help in spreading awareness on millets and provide livelihood support to a host of people in the value chain,” he added.