- Odisha is known for its diverse agro-climatic conditions and a rich traditional food culture. Despite the availability of diverse crops, the state has been focusing mainly on rice production for a long time.
- However, with the increasing awareness of the negative impact of rice monoculture and the need for diversified cropping systems, the Odisha government launched the Odisha Millets Mission (OMM) in 2017 to revive the cultivation, processing, and consumption of millets.
Objective of the Mission
- The primary objective of the Odisha Millets Mission is to revive millets as a key crop in the state’s agricultural landscape and promote their consumption for improved nutrition and health outcomes.
- The mission aims to increase millet cultivation in the state from 25,000 hectares to 2 lakh hectares by 2023 and to make Odisha the millet hub of India.
- First Phase: It is focusing on creating awareness about the benefits of millets among farmers, consumers, and other stakeholders. This includes organizing awareness campaigns, training programs, and capacity building initiatives for farmers, as well as promoting millets through various media channels.
- Second Phase: The second phase of the mission focuses on improving the production and productivity of millets by providing farmers with access to high-quality seeds, fertilizers, and other inputs.
- The OMM has set up seed banks and production centres to ensure the availability of quality seeds for farmers.
- The mission also provides training and technical support to farmers on millet cultivation, including best practices in soil health management, pest and disease management, and post-harvest management.
- Third Phase: The third phase of the mission focuses on creating a market for millets by promoting their consumption among consumers, especially in urban areas.
- The OMM has partnered with various stakeholders, including the private sector, to develop value chains for millets, including processing, packaging, and marketing.
- The mission has also launched the Millets on Wheels program, which involves mobile millet vans that sell millet-based products in urban areas.
- The Odisha Millets Mission has had a significant impact on the state’s agricultural landscape and the lives of its people. By the end of 2020, millet cultivation had increased to over 65,000 hectares, with more than 60,000 farmers adopting millet cultivation.
- The mission has also led to the development of a range of millet-based products, including snacks, beverages, and bakery products, which are being sold in local markets and online.
- The OMM has also had a positive impact on the nutrition and health outcomes of the people of Odisha. The increased consumption of millets has led to improved nutrition outcomes, especially among vulnerable populations such as women and children.
- The Odisha Millets Mission is a successful example of how government-led initiatives can promote sustainable agriculture, improve nutrition outcomes, and create livelihood opportunities for farmers.
- The mission’s multi-pronged approach, which focuses on creating awareness, improving productivity, and developing value chains, has resulted in significant progress in reviving millets in Odisha.