A series of events scheduled to welcome the International Year of Millets 2023, were ended with grand success. On the last event, a full-day programme was held for millet stakeholders to form a network through the launch of the networking platform “MILLET-ARY”, driven by the Millet Magic Foundation, and a cluster bloomed with the SFURTI scheme under the guidance of the Technical Agency, KIIT-TBI.
To mark the occasion, Mr. Millet (brand Mascot) shared information about the benefits of incorporating millet into every individual’s life. To demonstrate that incorporating millet into one’s daily diet is not difficult, various millet-based snacks and foods were served.
Various luminaries graced the occasion with their precious presence and impactful speeches, such as Prof. P.K. Roul, Vice Chancellor, OUAT, who spoke on the health benefits of millets, the importance of value-addition to millets, and making it more acceptable in every generation. In addition to that, he showed the impact of the agricultural pattern to increase production of millets in line with its advantages to the climate change. Mr. Rajen Padhi, Founder of EXIM Consultancy and Convener of the WTC International Trade Think Tank, spoke on the export opportunities of millet-based products in Africa and Gulf countries. Dr. Pradipta Mohanty, Chairman, SNM Group of Companies has manifested the business perspective that would make millet business sustainable and revenue-generating. Dr. Rina Routray, Chairperson of the Mahila Atma Nirbhar Abhigyan and Advisor to the WTC Bhubaneswar Women Forum, highlighted the traditional importance of millets in Odisha in her address. Dr. Pradipta Mohanty, convener of the Agriculture Think Tank (WTC) and chairman of the SNM Group of Companies, emphasized the importance of value addition in increasing consumer awareness and market penetration.
Mr Samarendra Sahu, Advisor of KIIT-TBI, graced the first technical session and updated the audience on the SFURTI Scheme and the process by which FPOs can enlist in the Scheme and use it to foster entrepreneurship among them. Ms. Shyama Jha, Founder, Millet Magic Foundation, Wow Mom Foods, said “MILLET-ARY” will be a solution to every requirement for the creation of a value chain for millet. “MILLET-ARY” has the ambition to provide a solution by linking the stakeholders to the right platform. Through the MILLET-ARY platform at the World Trade Center in Bhubaneswar, along with stakeholder groups and advisors of millet, these issues would be addressed, and people would get the right platform and support from the growing of millet to market the final value-added millet products on the domestic as well as export markets. The same “MILLET-ARY” fleet would work until 2023, propelling this project to great success. Ms. Nimeshika Natarajan, Assistant Director, World Trade Center Bhubaneswar, shared her remarks and gave words to act as the facilitation body for promoting millets with OUAT to provide for the technical support system.
The technical sessions had a great impact with the participation of OUAT researchers, professors, SBI, APEDA, NSIC, experienced FPOs, traders, marketing partners, and stalwarts in the Agriculture business. The session had witnessed the sensational achievement made possible by the huge participation of FPOs, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders from the fraternity.