Koraput: Agragamee, Kashipur in collaboration with MINE (Millet Network) organize a workshop on Millets. Millet Sisters engaged in the promotion of millet participated in the two days programme held at Athithi Bhawan Koraput on 27th and 28th December. Sri Saptagiri Ulaka, Member of Parliament, Koraput attending the programme as Chief Guest appreciated the efforts of the millet network and millet sister’s in the promotion of millet particularly that of finger millet. He also pointed out the benefits of the mixed cropping as an economically viable farming option for the tribal community. When the millet sisters urged him to take up this issue in the parliament, he agreed to do so. Sri Prabhu jani , MLA, Laxmipur describe this initiative on the front of Millet as the best gift that Koraput can offer to the Humanity.
Sri Achyut Das, Director, Agragamee coordinating the programme shared that the women members of the network are known as millet sisters who constitute the majority of the participants of this meeting. During the two day programme discussion was held on how this network will be strengthened and millet cultivation would be extended in the state.
During different technical session, Sri. Tapas Kumar Ray, Assistant Agriculture Officer, Dasmanthpur, Sri Rashon Kumar Karthik,, Deputy Manager ORMAS, Mr. Jacob, an activist of organic cultivation from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh. , Sri Roshan Kumar Karthik, Deputy Project manager, ORMAS,District Coordinator, Millet Mission, participated in the two day programme. Mr. Prasant Parida, MS Swaminathan Foundation, Jeypore focused on the benefits accrued and challenges confronted by the farmers due to the change of agriculture and adoption of millet cultivation as a sustainable means of meeting the needs of their balanced diet. and Dr. Preetidhara Samal,, prolific writer expressed great pleasure in finding so many women farmers or millet sisters in the meeting and termed it as real or genuine sight of empowered women.
Sri Gadadhar Parida, the chairperson of the inaugural session in his addressing session, Koraput is the origin of Paddy cultivation which is the gift of Koraput for the world. Similarly, Ragi has also been used by the natives of Koraput since time immemorial. He drew the attention of including Ragi or millet based food in the diet of children. Tribal diet being rich in millet has been the key to their strength and vitality and feels this has to be revamped. During different session Eminent tribal activist Mrs. Sumani Jhodia and other women millet sisters shared her experience and their initiatives of developing dangars /up lands or up lands and taking up even second crop of Ragi and also mobilise the other women members of their villages.
In the second day, Prasant Mohanty of Nirman, facilitate discussion on the strengthening of MINI Network and empowerment of Millet sisters was conducted. Sri Prasant Mohanty of Nirman ,Sri Siba Prasad Sahu of Ahimsa Club, Bargarh Smt. Sumant Jhodia from Mandibisi Mahila Mandal and Sri Atul Nayak of Agragamee and Mr. Bibhuti of Lokshakti from Bolangir shared their suggestion for strengthening millet network and promotion of millet product.
In the concluding session Mr. Umi Daniel , The State Coodinator , Aid- et- Action , Mr. Alok Kumar Anugulia, the Assistant Collector, Koraput, Mr. Bidyut Mohanty, Secretary SPREAD , Sri Achyut Das, Director, Agragamee and Sri. Gadadhar Parida, graced the dais. Bidyut Mohanty, SPREAD, had linked the millet cultivation food security and requested the members of the millet network to give importance to the promotion of the cultivation of other grains Suan, Gurji, Kangoo should be given priorities instead of only Ragi. Sri. Alok Chandra Anugulia, Assiatant Collector, Koraput interacted with the millet sisters in their dialect. He lauded the effrorts of the Millet network, especially Agragamee for taking this step in reviving the millet cultivation much before the government intervention. He has opined that Suan is preferable along with Ragi for nutritional purposes.
Sri. Prasant Mohanty, Executive Director, Nirman finally administered an oath and declaration among the delegates and participants to preserve the rich tradition and heritage of Millet cultivation of this region.
Sri.Achyut Das, Director , Agragamee has extended thanks to all the millet sisters and distinguished personality on the dais for assisting in the noble initiative of the Millet Network in the promotion of this cultivation. Mr. Gadadhar Parida concluded this session with a suggestion that we should give more importance to Millet instead for rice for our health and for economics. Mr. Narayan Barik and Sri Lokanath Panda presented the vote of thanks with the summary of the deliberation. 70 participants from Rayagada, Koraput, Nawarangpur, Bolangir, Baragarh and Kandhamal participated in the programme.