Odisha Millets Mission (Special Programme for Promotion of Millets in Tribal Areas) – Directorate of Agriculture & Food Production, Odisha


SKOCH Award Nominee

Category: State – State Department
Sub-Category: subState – State Department
Project: Odisha Millets Mission (Special Programme for Promotion of Millets in Tribal Areas)
Start Date: 2017-02-28
Organisation: Directorate of Agriculture & Food Production, Odisha
Respondent: Mr Suresh Kumar Vashishth ,Commissioner-Cum-Secretary
http://www.milletsodisha.com/
Level: Excellence


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Case Study

Odisha Millets Mission (Special Programme for Promotion of Millets in Tribal Areas) project for Transforming Millets Production in Odisha

Directorate of Agriculture & Food Production, Govt. of Odisha, Bhubaneswar Transforming Millets Production in Odisha

Problems:

In recent years the production and consumption of millets have been declining due to multiple reasons such as lack of focus on millet development by the government and other crops being grown in place of millets. The farmers were lacking awareness about the nutritional aspects of millet; this is combined with issues like lack of quality seeds and proper market linkages for millets. The decentralized processing machinery for threshing, cleaning, grading, and destining of millets was also lacking in the state. Most agricultural programmes promoted crops such as maize and cotton, which superseded the millets in the upland and midland terrain. Handling a problem with one department is inappropriate, it requires multi-department coordination to be successful and have a meaningful impact. However, there was a need to build capacity in the staff to rethink and implement the farm to fork approach.

Solutions:

To improve the production and consumption of millets various solutions were implemented such as System of millet intensification, line transplanting, line sowing, etc. was taken up. The state has established decentralized processing units under OMM at GP level, block-level & district level to reduce drudgery in millet processing. Various initiatives were taken to promote the consumption of millets, these include distribution of ragi being done through PDS and including Ragi laddus in ICDS distributed meals. A total of 75 numbers of Farmer Producer Companies have been registered and promoted under Odisha Millets Mission for ragi procurement. The other important steps were taken to include Millets in ICDS & State Nutrition Programmes to implement the farm to fork approach and add value to millet products; these include setting up of millet tiffin centers and urban millet cafes.

Outcomes:

The outcome of successfully implementing this mission is impressive. More than 1.2 lakh farmers with 52 thousand ha area have been covered under improved agronomic practices & A total of Rs. 746.06 lakhs have been released as incentives to farmers. Though, Ragi has been distributed among 16, 01,206 no, of people under PDS. & 435 threshing units, 12 of Ragi Cleaner-cum-Grader, 32 pulverizes have been established with WSGHs & FPOs in all the 15 OMM districts. The Govt of Odisha is procuring Ragi at MSP under OMM to encourage the production of millets and increase the income of farmers. Because of this mission, Odisha became the first state to finalize the specifications of millet processing machines in the country and finalize the tender. However, Machines are being installed in the Panchayat and Blocks through groups (SHGs/ FPOs). The better incentives and crop demonstration have encouraged the farmers to take up millets again; the procurement of Ragi has changed the price dynamic. Higher price of millet and easy access to state procurement by the state prompted more farmers to take up millets. 

Challenges:

There were many challenges faced to implement this mission. In 2017, when farmers were unaware of improved practices; they hesitated to adopt improved packages of practices. It took around 1 year to fully convince the farmers. The another challenge was in regards to stick the timelines of project deliverables with collaborative approach at different levels, given the administrative issues at block and district levels at different points of time

Innovations:

In terms of innovative point of view, it is a unique project in India where three major players – govt, civil society and academia – have come together not just to discuss, but to design, cooperate, collaborate and participate. It promotes seed sovereignty by promoting local / indigenous millet seeds through Participatory Varietal Trials (PVT), community managed seed centres and gene banks.

Opportunities:

The programme components have been made in line with either central or state schemes to the extent possible. Tasks and activities for each stakeholder were assigned based on the existing operational model of the agriculture department while bringing in new thinking. As this project has been broadly built on the existing framework of the government it can be easily scaled up to other areas


For more information, please contact:
Ms Kalpana Pradhan, Scheme Officer, Odisha Millets Mission, Directorate of Agriculture & Food Production, Govt of Odisha at omm.spmu@gmail.com


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