Bhubaneswar: Odisha is going to be a lead State in the world in the upcoming International Year of Millet in 2023. The State, which is pioneer in Millet Mission, is aiming at production, consumption and marketing of the nutri-cereals.

This is what opined experts and dignitaries at the National Workshop on Nutri-Cereals, here on Wednesday.

Inaugurating the workshop, Odisha chief secretary Asit Tripathy said Niti Aayog has recognised Odisha as a progressive model State in nutri-cereals. He said Millet Mission has been extended to 72 blocks in 14 tribal districts of the State ever since it was launched in 2017.

Presenting key note address agriculture production commissioner Pradipta Mohapatra said Odisha Millet Mission is an unique initiative for revival and promotion of millet production. The government of India, he added, has recommended other States in the country to follow Odisha model.

The agriculture principal secretary, Sourav Garg, said that around 50,000 farmers in the State have taken up millet cultivation with improved agronomic practice. He said that the State government is planning to include suitable millet in ICDS, MDM and PDS schemes.

The director ICRISAT, Arabinda Padhi, said that the organisation will provide the technology and international best practices for improving productivity in the State.

Padhi, while speaking at the workshop , here on Wednesday, said millet are climate resilient crops and can be grown under stressed rain-fed coditions. People of southern and western Odisha are familiar with millet production over generations.

Country representative of Food & Agriculture Organisation of UNO Tomio Shichari, Principal secretary, cooperation and women and child development, Anu Garg, OUAT vice chancellor Pawan Agarwal, ICAR director Vilas Tonapi, food supply and consumer welfare secretary VV Yadav, CYSD co-founder Jagadananda and director agriculture M Muthukumar also addressed the workshop.

NGO Pragati and Pradan and 14 leading millet farmers of the State were awarded on this occasion.