By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, January 13, 2021: The first Millet Processing Unit in the district has come up in Keonjhar district as a joint venture of Odisha Millets Mission and Mission Shakti. The unit has a capacity of cleaning about 2 quintals of Millets per hour and can clean over 500 quintals in a month, thus providing a consistent source of livelihood to the Self Help Group (SHG).

The unit is being managed by Krishna SHG, Sadar Block and supported by Mission Shakti and will ensure supply of clean Ragi for the flagship ICDS Ragi Laddu programme of the District Administration.

The unit has been provided under the Odisha Millets Mission, supported by the District Mineral Foundation, officials said adding that technical support is being provided by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers
Empowerment and WASSAN.

The Odisha Millets Mission was initiated in Keonjhar district from Kharif 2019. It is a five-year programme funded by the District Mineral Foundation of Keonjhar.

The program covers mining affected villages of 7 blocks in the districts viz. Banspal, Champua, Joda, Jhumpura, Harichandanpur, Hatadihi and Sadar.

The programme aims to revive millets in farms and on plates by enhancing production, consumption, processing and marketing of millets through an integrated approach. More than 4000 farmers have been benefitted under the various components of the programme.

Moreover, the Government of Odisha has launched procurement of Ragi at MSP from 2018 under which farmers are getting an assured price for Ragi, which is being used for State Nutrition Programmes (ICDS, MDM) and the Public Distribution System (PDS).

For the first time, Ragi ladoos have been introduced as morning snacks for preschool children in Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) under ICDS in Keonjhar district, which Niti Aayog has recognized. Two ragi laddus each per week are provided as morning snacks to the school children between 3 to 6 years of age enrolled under the ICDS in the district in addition to the existing menu.

More than 86,000 children of all the Blocks of Keonjhar district are covered under the programme. 21 women Self Help Groups are engaged to supply Ragi Ladoo Mix to 3,254 AWCs in the district.

A total area of about 1050 hectares was brought under millet cultivation in Kharif 2020. In Rabi 2020, more than 500 hectares in these seven blocks and would be covered. TDCCOL, Keonjhar is the Dist.
with support of Women & Child Development and Mission Shakti with technical support from Odisha Millets Mission and financial support from District Mineral Foundation.

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