Bhubaneswar: Looking at the growing demand on millet and millet products, a two day training programme organized concluded today. The training was attended primary millet producers, NGOs, entrepreneurs and housewives of the state. The training programme was inaugurated by Mr. Jagadananda, Former Chief Information Commissioner; Mr. Alok Mahapatra, Planning & Convergence Department, Secretariat, Govt. of Odisha; Mr. Dinesh Balam, Programme secretariat, Millet Mission Odisha; Mr. Prasanta Mohanty, CEO, NIRMAN and Mr. Prakash Chandra Nayak, Communication Expert & Team Leader, C4D Institute.
There were 30 participants from various organizations like CYSD, Gram Vikas, Agragamee, SACAL, PARIVARTAN, Surakshya, SWATI, TSRD, NIRMAN, CCD, C4D and KIITIS. Moreover, there were also individual entrepreneurs who participated mainly to start selling small millets. The resource persons for conducting the training programme were Prof. D. Malathi, Professor (Food Science Nutrition), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu as well as her team. Government of Odisha has launched a “Special Programme for promotion of millets in tribal areas” for promotion of millets in mission mode and established a State Secretariat at NCDS for implementation of the programme in 2016.
In the inauguration session, Mr. Bijaya Kumar Nayak, Regional Coordinator, DHAN Foundation welcomed all the participants and shared about DHAN’s experience in small millet promotion in Odisha since 2011. In small millet programme, DHAN works for increasing crop production with adoption of improved packages of practices; reducing drudgery through setting up processing units, enhancing local consumption trough training and demonstration of recipes. He shared about the agenda and the objective of conducting the first time and unique training programme on developing small millet value added food products in Odisha. According to him, the training programme will help to increase the local consumption of small millets as well as create opportunity for organizations to improve health and nutrition status of households. This will make easier organization involved in millet mission Odisha for giving training and capacity building programme to field staffs for reaching large number of entrepreneurs and including in various ICDS centres.
In the inaugural address, Mr. Jagadananda shared about the need of promoting millet consumption in interior villages of Odisha in order to reduce malnutrition among women and children. He stressed on collaborative approach in sharing knowledge and experience among organizations to scale up successful interventions. According to him, it is the right time for all organizations to increase local consumption for reducing malnutrition and increasing income.
Mr. Alok Mahapatra spoke about the need of promotion of millet based food products in urban areas by developing attracting products as well as proper packaging and branding them. Moreover, he emphasized on convergence of various schemes of both central and state government on processing and value addition as it is the reason for reduction in production of the millets in Odisha. According to him, organizations should adopt corporate centric strategy in order to market nutritious millet products. Mr. Dinesh Balam shared about the different promotion components incorporated in Millet Mission Odisha. He invited all participants for any kind of supports needed for conducting promotional events for increasing small millet consumption in rural and urban areas. Mr. Prasant Mohanty shared about the nutritional as well as health benefits of millet as well as bringing back the millet landscape. Mr. Prakash Chandra Nayak encouraged the participants to be part of the unique event and take forward millet promotional agenda in Odisha. Mr. Kailash Chandra Machha coordinated the event and gave vote of thanks to all participants.
Well known development organisation of south India, DHAN Foundation organized it wt CYSD , Bhubaneswar. In the concluding session of the training, Dr. D. Malathi, Ph.D., Professor (Food Science Nutrition), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu as well as her team conducted training for making various small millet value added food products like laddu, Pokoda, Voda, Dosa, cookies, cake, pasta products, Murruku, vermicelli, Khir, Upma, Biriyani, Paniyaram, biscuits etc. The programme was well received by the participant. Amita Subhada, a housewife told When the urban population is struggling with lifestyle diseases- blood pressure, diabetics and the likes, the recipe reaining would bring in improved positive dietary habits in households.