Inception cum Orientation Workshop of Special Programme for Promotion of Millets in Tribal Areas of Odisha in Tribal Areas of Odisha

An inception cum orientation workshop for District level agriculture officers of 7 districts namely Gajapati, Kalahandi, Koraput, Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Nuapada and Rayagada at Sadabhabana Gruha, Koraput on 3rd March and 4th March 2017.  This workshop was organised by ATMA Koraput. It was facilitated by Programme Secretariat (WASSAN) and State Secretariat (NCDS).

Objective of the workshop was to orient the participants on the programme modalities and process of selection of facilitating agencies at district level.  Program design of various components such as production, consumption, processing and marketing was also discussed in detail.

Shri K Sudharshan Chakravarthy IAS, Collector and District Magistrate, Malkangiri District chaired the inaugural session of the workshop. Shri Ms Madhusmita Sahoo IAS, Project Director, District Rural Development Agency, Koraput District was the chief guest of the workshop. Shri K Sudharshan Chakravarthy IAS, Collector and District Magistrate, Malkangiri District spoke about the important role millets play in the diet of Adivasi youth and suggested that efforts should be focussed on changing the behaviour towards the millet consumption and production.

Shri Madhusmita Sahoo IAS, Project Director, District Rural Development Agency, Koraput District spoke about the recent trend among Adivasis moving towards the cultivation of cash crops. She stressed the need to improve the production and marketing to ensure better price realisation to revive the millets.

District Agriculture officials were oriented on the following aspects by the resource persons of the Programme Secretariat (WASSAN) through various sessions in an interactive manner.

  1. Programme Design of Mission Millet.
  2. Roles and Responsibilities of stakeholders
  3. Process of selection of FAs and CBOs
  4. Agronomic practices for increasing the production
  5. Millet Processing machinery
  6. Value addition
  7. Collective Marketing and Branding strategies for promotion of millets.
  8. Opportunities and obstacles in including millets in state nutrition programmes.

Workshop featured presentations by Ms Prabha Acharya, RRTTSS, Semiliguda Koraput on nutrition. A Skype presentation was given by Shri Professor Seetaram, Emeritus(Millets), ICAR on the millet production systems in Odisha. Dr Dwijendranth gave a Skype presentation on Millet Processing machines and their problems.

A field visit was arranged for the participants to Dasmantapur to visit the processing unit and interaction with members of farmer producer company marketing millets. A NGO roundtable was conducted on the second day to share the experiences of grassroots organisations on millet promotion, conservation, and marketing in Koraput district.

c0f44748-1662-4b0d-917d-6dd4de3d5f43A detailed brainstorming session was discussion was held on the grounding of the programme in the respective districts with district agriculture officials

Following are the recommendations/suggestions that emerged from the brainstorming session

  1. A Central Technical Support Unit should be created at the state level for supporting processing enterprises. This unit should extensively train and support the local mechanics and youth on the maintenance of machines in order avoid INSIMP experience.
  2. Collaboration must be explored with Indian institute of packing technology for the programme.
  3. Collaboration must be instituted with OUAT/NBPGR for the development of pure line varieties of the local seeds for the programme.
  4. Extensive materials/videos should be developed in order the spread the knowledge of improved agronomic practices and new millet recipes and marketing.

After the brainstorming session,  Dr Srijit Mishra concluded the workshop with a vote of thanks.

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