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Mrunal Manmay Dash

The nutritional value of millet is unparalleled to any other available grain. And when it is coupled with the grit and perseverance of some industrious women, what emerges is a success story unmatched to many.

Such a success story has been reported from Palasada village under Nuapada district’s Boden block, where a group of 10 diligent women joined hands to create a business model which is now providing them handsome returns.

The members of Saraswati Self Help Group (SHG) have opened a hotel at their village in Palasada where they serve fried snacks made out of Ragi flour (Millet). From potato cutlet to Samosa and even pakode, the hotel serves all the Odia delicacies to its customers, but with a twist. The ragi flour snacks have already garnered much attention from the locality.

However, the situation was different earlier. Prior to this, the women were jobless and having financial issues. One fine day, Millet Mission came knocking on their doors and they found a real platform on which they honed their skills. They were trained on food processing by the District Palli Vikash Institution.

Narrating their story, one of the SHG members, Sapur Behera said, “As we could not get any work here, we decided to open a hotel in the village. People are happy and our snacks are in huge demand here.”

Similarly, another SHG member, Santoshini Thakur said that they are financially independent now and they can even save some money for their future.

The group is also engaged in preparing several packaged food products made from Ragi and other grains, which has now become quite popular in the district.

Palli Vikash Institution’s Chief, Suresh Kumar Rout said, “Their products are good. It has managed to garner good demand from the public. I hope they will expand their market to other regions of the State in the future.”

Sharing their achievement, the District Chief Agriculture Officer, Niranjan Das said, “Mission Shakti has helped them a lot. The group has been provided with a financial assistance of Rs 30,000. The hotel at Palsada is doing quite well and I am happy with their efforts.”

Odisha Millets Mission is a flagship programme of the State Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment. As a special programme for promotion of millets in tribal areas of Odisha, the Odisha Millets Mission was launched in the State in 2017.

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