Shri Parag Harshad Gavale IAS, Project Director , DRDA
“Special Programme for promotion of Integrated Farming in Tribal Areas” and “Special Programme for promotion of millets in Tribal Areas” for Malkangiri District was launched by Shri R Balakrishnan IAS, Development Commissioner cum Additional Chief Secretary (DC cum ACS), Govt. of Odisha 0n 19th April 2017 at DRDA Office in Malkangiri. Launching event was presided by Shri Manoj Ahuja IAS, Principal Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment Department, Government of Odisha and also attended by Shri G. Mathi Vathanan IAS, Commissioner cum Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Dept, Shri Manas Madakami, MLA Malkangiri, Shri K Sudharshan Chakravarthy IAS, Collector & District Magistrate, Shri Parag Harshad Gavale IAS, Project Director, DRDA and Shri Damodar Sethi, Deputy Director, Agriculture, Malkangiri District.
After the inauguration, Guests released the poster 1 and poster 2 which explain major components of the programmes. NCDS is the research secretariat and WASSAN is the
programme secretariat for both the programmes.
“Special Programme for the promotion of Integrated Farming in Tribal Areas” scheme was designed based on the last 4 years work of Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture (RRA) Network in Malkangiri district with the help of District administration on Agriculture, Vegetable Cultivation, Livestock and Fisheries in a convergent mode. This programme has been designed as per the 10 propositions proposed by the working group on NRM in 12th five-year plan to revitalise rainfed agriculture. The programme focuses on the comprehensive development of agriculture, Animal husbandry and fishery sectors through technology diffusion, the establishment of CBOs, and integrated management of natural resources through organic inputs in 40 GPs of Malkangiri.
“Special Programme for the promotion of Millets in Tribal Areas” emerged from the consultation conducted by NCDS, ASHA Network and RRA Network on January 27th, 2016. This programme focuses on increasing production and consumption of millets at a household level, establishing processing enterprises for better processing, establishing FPOs for value addition and collective marketing. This programme also has a policy objective of including millets in ICDS and PDS. This will be implemented in 30 blocks in 7 districts of Odisha. This is launch only for Malkangiri District; a bigger launch is expected to happen in all districts once the selection of NGOs for implementation of the programme is completed.
Shri R Balakrishanan IAS, Development Commissioner cum Additional Chief Secretary interacted with the women farmers. He enquired how their farming practices and consumption practices have changed over a period of time. Farmers explained their current issues with millet farming and why they are still continuing millet farming in spite of difficulties. Farmers spoke about the connection between the millet cultivation and culture. Development Commissioner assured that farmers practising millet will be supported by the Government and it is aiming to revive the minor millets.
Shri Manoj Ahuja IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment said that through the new Special Programme for the promotion of millets, investments will be made to enhance production, reduce drudgery for processing and promote consumption of millets in both rural and urban markets. He also said that project aims to develop and support farmer collectives in value addition and better marketing of millets for better price realisation.
After the inauguration, Shri Damodar Sethi, Deputy Director, Agriculture Malkangiri updated DC cum ACS and Principal Secretary, DoA & FE about the progress in both schemes and action plan for next three months.