The National Mission on Nutri Cereals was launched during the National Workshop on Nutri Cereals at Pune on 28th September 2018. It was launched by Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Agriculture Minister, GoI. The event saw representatives of many state governments, agriculture experts, civil society organizations, entrepreneurs and farmers.
Dr Ashok Dalwai, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare and CEO National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA), appreciated the work of OMM and requested all the states to adopt and learn from the OMM model for its emphasis on reviving millets in farms and on plates. He requested Government of Odisha to issue guidelines of the OMM, to be shared with other state governments. GoI will establishes a Centre of Excellence (CoE) on Millets under the leadership of IIMR at Odisha to support Odisha Millet Mission.
The Odisha Millet Mission is one of the flagship projects of WASSAN. WASSAN was involved with the mission right from programmer design, coordination, implementation (with partner NGOs) and management of the mission.
Dr Saurabh Garg IAS, Principal Secretary, Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment spoke about the Odisha Millet Mission(OMM), an initiative of the Government of Odisha in reviving millets. He said it is a unique programme that emerged from consultations with civil society (RRA Network & ASHA Network), Academia (NCDS) and Government of Odisha. The programme was designed based on successful grassroots experiences.
Dr M Muthukumar IAS, Director, Agriculture & Food Production, Odisha gave a detailed presentation on the OMM. It is one of the first agriculture initiatives whose primary objective is to increase local consumption instead of production. He detailed the objectives of OMM as follows:
- Increase consumption of millets in rural and urban areas
- Setup decentralized processing units
- Improve productivity
- Better marketing for better price realization
- Inclusion of millets in ICDS, MDM and PDS.
Many promotional rallies, food festivals, and competitions were organized both in rural and urban areas to change the mindset of people around millets. Massive awareness campaigns were launched.
He said that Government of Odisha has already allocated 100 crores for procurement of millets. As Minimum Support Price(MSP) is there only for ragi in FY 2018-19, ragi will be procured through Tribal Development Co-operative Corporation (TDCC). An IT system has been set in place to ensure money is transferred to farmers within 3 days. An inter-departmental committee has been formed at secretary level and director level to track the progress on a fortnightly basis and farmer registration is in progress.