Preparations Kickstart For International Convention On Millets In Bhubaneswar

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The first meeting of the organizing committee, which will discuss the action plan for holding the International Convention on Millets (ICM) in Bhubaneswar on November 9 and 10, 2023, was held today at Krushi Bhavan under the chairmanship of Dr. Arabinda Kumar Padhee, Principal Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment (DA&FE). The Odisha Millets Mission, working with a number of line agencies, Central Government entities, private stakeholders, farmers, Farmers Producer Organizations (FPOs), Women Self Help Groups (WSHGs), research institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), etc., will be in charge of organizing the convention.

DA&FE has been implementing a flagship initiative titled Odisha Millets Mission (OMM) since 2017. Odisha became the first state to declare a Millet Day (Mandia Dibasa) on 10th November 2022. The year 2023 has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Millets (IYM). As part of IYM 2023 celebrations, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved organizing the International Convention on Millets (ICM) on 9th and 10th November 2023.

As the run up to the convention, a meeting of the Organizing Committee was convened today under the chairmanship of DA&FE’s Principal Secretary to kickstart the preparatory works. The meeting was attended by Director of Agriculture & Food Production, Director, Information & Public Relations Department, MD, Odisha State Seeds Corporation Limited (OSSC), Dean, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), Director, Institute on Management of Agricultural Extension (IMAGE), representatives from Mission Shakti Department, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Odisha Millets Mission, Agricultural Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited (APICOL), Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), etc.

Principal Secretary Padhee shared that active engagement should be done with the World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure South-South collaboration with African Countries on millets. He stressed that OMM should play a pivotal role in the convention to develop the policy roadmap for the next 10 years on Millets. A film competition may also be held with focus on millets, climate change and regenerative agriculture. A session on forgotten foods and tribal culture should be organized in the convention in collaboration with civil society partners, custodian farmers and sectoral experts. A special session should also focus on millet mothers especially with urban anganwadi workers and housing societies.

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