Cut, November 15: Millets and diversified food products are selling like hotcakes at Balia Yatra 2022 in Cuttack, thanks to the promotion of the government of Odisha, which aims to extend the Millet Mission to all 30 districts of the state.
As Odisha first celebrated ‘Mandia Dibasa’ (Millet Divas) on November 10, the government decided to spend Rs 2,800 crore on Millet Mission over the next five years.
With people focusing more and more on nutritious and healthy foods, the sale of millets and diverse foodstuffs has increased at the stalls set up at the Bali Yatra which stands on the banks of the Mahanadi River.
Several Self Help Groups (SHGs) have set up their stalls at the Palishree Mela to sell millet products. Biscuits, namkeens, biscuits and ladoo made from grains of millet (Mandia), pearl millet (Bajra) and foxtail millet (Kangni) are on demand.
“We are seeing a huge demand for millet and diversified food products. While people are buying the products from the stall itself, we have also received orders,” said Manohar Kamar of Mahima Self-Help Group from Kundra area of Koraput district.
He said that although they have already sold millet products worth more than Rs 1 lakh, they have also received orders of Rs 60,000.
Sumanpriya Sahoo, secretary of the Pankajini grower group in Cuttack’s Dampada block, said they have increased production to meet growing demand at the fair.
“Increased demand for nutritious #millet food products is expected to help last mile farmers. We are trying to make the value chain producer friendly, with the participation of @mission_shakti groups, FPOs and the pvt sector,” Agriculture Secretary Arvind Padhee tweeted.
About 2,000 stalls have been set up at the Bali Yatra, of which no less than 420 stalls belong to the national level Pallishree Mela showcasing products ranging from looms, handicrafts to rural handcrafted spices and household items from different districts of Odisha .
Additionally, traders from 14 other states such as Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karanataka, Manipur and Maharashtra participate in the fair.
The show started on November 8 and will end on November 17.