Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to distribute one kg of ragi at Rs 1 as a pilot project through the public distribution system (PDS) to improve nutritional consumption in the state.
It was decided at the Odisha Millet Mission meeting, held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, here on Monday.
Every PDS cardholder will get one kg of ragi at Rs 1 in Gajapati, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nuapada and Rayagada districts in July. In the Malkangiri district, cardholders will be supplied two kgs of ragi.
Padhi also asked the Millet Mission to promote consumption of ragi in urban pockets through tie-ups with bakeries, biscuits manufacturers, sweet stalls and mega retail counters.
Agriculture Secretary Sourav Garg said around 17,500 quintals of ragi would be distributed to the cardholders.
The future of the scheme will depend on the acceptability of the people and the impact of the pilot project.
It was also decided to procure around 100,000 quintals of ragi from farmers in the coming kharif season at the minimum support price of Rs 2,897 per quintal.
Padhi said the main objective of the scheme is to provide good market price to the ragi farmers and prohibit any distress sale.
Development Commissioner Asit Kumar Tripathy said awareness about the availability of ragi in fair price shops would be created among cardholders.
M Muthu Kumar, Agriculture director, said in the 2018 khariff season, 24,499 farmers were registered and verified for procurement of ragi.