World Food Programme and Odisha Government launch report on Millets Mission

World Food Programme and Odisha Government launch report on Millets Mission

Bhubaneswar, March 9, 2022

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Odisha on Tuesday released a report, stories of impact, and policy briefs that showcase the experiences and lessons from the state’s Odisha Millets Mission (OMM) in a bid to promote climate-resilient livelihoods and nutrition nationally and globally.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on March 18, 2021 by Bishow Parajuli, Representative and Country Director for WFP in India, and M Muthukumar, Director, Agriculture, and Food Production, Odisha, on creating regional and global policy dialogues around millets as a climate-adaptable cereal for nutritional security.

The Government of Odisha initiated the Odisha Millets Mission as a special programme for the promotion of millets in tribal areas. The flagship programme led by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers' Empowerment, the Government of Odisha, has emerged as the first of its kind initiative to revive millets from farms to plate, introducing millets in the Public Distribution System and Integrated Child Development Services.

As part of the MoU, WFP has developed three products: a report titled "Lessons from OMM: A Case for Mainstreaming Millets", a compendium of case stories from the field titled "A Journey of Odisha Millet Mission" and a set of six policy briefs for mainstreaming millets in social safety-nets, improved consumption, the inclusion of all varieties in millets under Minimum Support Price, strengthening millet value chain, processing, and value-added millet products and organic certification.

These were released by Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, Special Secretary, Agriculture, and Farmers’ Empowerment Department, and Muthukumar, Director, Agriculture, and Food Production. The key findings of the reports were shared by Pradnya Paithankar from WFP India.

Dr. Jagadanda, Member Secretary, Centre for Youth and Social Development, chaired a panel discussion to deliberate the recommendations and way forward for mainstreaming millets across the state and at the national level.

Officials from the 15 millet districts attended the event and shared experiences to make Odisha a leading state and spearhead millet mainstreaming in the country.

In December last year, WFP India and NITI Aayog agreed to support the documentation of good practices on mainstreaming millet and provide technical support to state governments and other institutions including the Indian Institute of Millets Research.

WFP will leverage its global experience and presence to highlight India’s learnings and experiences for global advocacy around the benefits of millets in the run-up to the International Year of Millets 2023, a press release from WFP added.

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