Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to include minor millets like Suan and Kangu in mid-day meal (MDM) and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programmes in the state. As a part of expansion of ‘Odisha Millets Mission’, which was on Monday announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, it has been decided to introduce millets in midday meal and ICDS in a phased manner in nine districts of the state covering around 26 lakh children.
The millet meals will be served as Khichdi and Upma twice a week.
The required millets will be produced and supplied by Women SHGs and Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs). While the Odisha government had earlier launched the Millets Mission in tribal areas in 30 blocks covering 7 districts for promotion of millets, it will be expanded to another 25 blocks covering a total of 11 districts.
A total of Rs 126.65 crore will be spent to revive millet farming over a period of five years. The farmers will be incentivised for growing millet through direct benefit transfer. In a bid to raise awareness regarding millets, sale outlets for millet-based products will be established in 26 locations of Bhubaneswar Municipal Areas by NGOs. Further, it will be extended to other urban areas. Various millet products such as Halwa, Vada, Dosa, Pakoda, biscuits and cakes will be promoted through this urban awareness programme.