Bhubaneswar: The children in Odisha’s Anganwadis will soon get millet ladoos in their daily food.

The high power committee on Odisha Millets Mission had decided to introduce millet or Ragi ladoos for Angawadi children in the State. It also decided to add millet in the mid-day meal for the school childrens in the districts covered under District Mineral Fund(DMF) as nutrient supplement food.

The high power committee, which met under the chairmanship of development commissioner Suresh Mohapatra, here on Thursday, approved the proposal to procure 1 lakh quintals of millet (Ragi) during this kharif season. The millets would be used to supply ladoos to Anganwadis, schools and also to the PDS card holders at Rs 1/- a kg.

The meeting was attended by agriculture production commissioner (APC) Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra, agriculture principal secretary Saurabh Garg. Among others, ST & SC development principal secretary Ranjana Chopra, food supply & consumer welfare secretary and cooperation secretary Vir Vikram Jadav , agriculture director M Muthukumar, Tdccol MD SR Jadhav were present.

The meeting decided that a survey would be conducted in the 7 district where Ragi, procured in 2018-19, were distributed through PDS to know the feedback from the people.

The committee discussed on various aspects on Millets Mission and how to strengthen the scheme across the State. Integration with different government programs to increase millet consumption and market linkage with bigger agency for sustainability of millet cultivation was some of the points raised in the meeting.

Suresh Mahapatra emphasized on creating market linkage for millets through ORMAS which has an online marketing platform. He also asked to enhance the consumption habit of the stakeholders for Ragi.

Pradipta Mohapatra suggested to have common procurement center for Paddy and Millets, if not possible then to create sub procurement center nearby.

The State is going to host the National Conference on Nutri-Cereal on October 16, 2019 on the occasion of the world food day.

The State government has launched Odisha Millet Mission, a special programme for promotion of millet in tribal areas, in 2017-18 in 30 blocks of 7 districts. It was extended to 72 blocks in 2018-19 covering 14 districts. While the programme in 65 blocks of 13 districts is funded under State Plan, 7 blocks of Keonjhar district are funded through District Mineral Fund.

The Odisha Millet Mission, in fact, has been highly appreciated by the government of India. The Centre meanwhile has advised all states to adopt Odisha model.

The government of India has set up a task force the chairmanship of joint secretary (Crops), ministry of agriculture, to revise National Food Security Mission Nutri Cereals guidelines as per the Odisha model. Moreover, the Niti Aayog is going to promote Odisha model of inclusion of millets in ICDS, MDM and PDS in the country.