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SwitchON Foundation organizes talk show on 'Magic Millets'

SwitchON Foundation organized a talk show on: “ Magic Millets - Bringing back the Ancient Nutritional Grains " during Saras Mela 2022 i...

SwitchON Foundation organized a talk show on: “Magic Millets - Bringing back the Ancient Nutritional Grains" during Saras Mela 2022 in view of the International Year of Millets 2023. The supporting partners for the event were - Watershed Support Services and Activities Network (WASSAN), RRA Network and RCRC Network. The event focused on creating awareness on millet, value chain and the marketing potential of millet products among farmers, stakeholders and larger citizens. The session also emphasized the revival of millet consumption and set the narrative of millet being a sustainable crop among citizens in India.

Keeping in mind the year 2023 as the global year of millets, SwitchON Foundation through EEWA (Empowering Energy Water and Agriculture nexus) programme is trying to promote awareness in different parts of East India on the climate and nutritional benefits of millets. 

Amit Saha, State Manager, Livelihood, WBSRLM under the department of Panchayat and Rural Development said, “The various activities taken by various SHG members the work on handicrafts are very commendable and currently WBSRLM has taken up millets in their livelihood activities with special focus in Purulia and Bankura along with the Gorkhaland in Kalimpong. This is going to be taken up in collaboration with SwitchON Foundation. At present, the special focus of WBRLM is in the production of crops like Ragi which grows very well in the agro-climatic zone of West Bengal so along with the production processing and forward linkage is also something that we are focusing on. We will also take help from women SHGs to train SHGs under WBSRLM on the millet-based value chain and plans to include more SHG women having stalls in Saras Mela 2023.”

Sourangshu Banerjee, Team Coordinator Pradan said, "Millet has always been a part of our culture and dietary habits in Bengal and other states of India but due to extensive promotion of paddy and wheat under PDS system of the government. These mighty grains have lost their place on our plates. But the initiative has to be started with all of us keeping in mind the nutritional value and climate-related solutions provided by millets since they are highly climate resilient.”

Lakshmi Mishra, Debojyoti SHG from Sundergarh, Orissa said, "I come from a land where we could not grow anything. After being associated with the Odisha Millet mission we learnt about the multi-benefits that these crops can have. We benefitted from the training on the millet value chain and now we export to various places in India as well as abroad. Today there is a 5 times increase in our incomes. We have also been able to showcase our products globally and with support from Govt. of India we have been able to even represent our SHG in Paris, which felt like a dream.”

SwitchON Foundation has also set up a stall in Saras Mela with value-added millets products like Millets Cookies, Pasta, Satu and Bhujia etc with support from Odisha Millet Mission. 

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