Mrunal Manmay Dash

With an aim to take Odisha Millets Mission forward, the government of Odisha began a two-day International Convention on Millets (ICM) at Janta Maidan in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

The convention, which will continue till Friday, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The ICM, the theme of which is “Millets – Ancient Grains for Modern Challenges”, features farmer engagement activities, displaying emerging technologies and farm machineries, experience centres, technical sessions, policy roundtables, B2B meetings, international food festival, Quiz competitions, cooking competitions and many more.

As per the State government statement, the ICM will focus on the tribal heritage of millets and showcase success stories of millet entrepreneurship of Mission Shakti groups.

Welcoming the guests at the Convention, CM Naveen said, “Millets are traditional grains, climate resilient and a powerhouse of nutrition. Millets can play an important role in achieving nutritional security. United Nations has declared 2023 as the International Year for Millets. Odisha is the first State to organise such an international convention involving all the stakeholders.”

“We launched the millet mission in Odisha in 2017. To encourage millet production, we have increased direct benefit transfer to the farmers and laid out assured procurement of millets. Odisha government is investing Rs 2500 crore for providing income and livelihood support to farmers,” he said.

Speaking about the SHGs, Patnaik said, “It is very heartening to see the women SHGs and their involvement in the millet value chain. They have shown the world how millet-based enterprises can play an important role in appealing the taste buds of the consumers and improving the livelihood as well.”