Odisha celebrated 'Mandia Day'
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced to observe the first Thursday of the Margasira month of the Hindu calendar on November 10 as 'Mandia Day' or 'Millet Day' in the state.
Its objective is to popularise and promote the use and cultivation of superfood- millet among the people.
Odisha has become the first state in the country to declare November 10 as a day dedicated to millets.
The state government started the Odisha Millet Mission in the year 2017-18.
It is a flagship program of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers' Empowerment.
Initially Millet Mission was implemented in 30 blocks of seven districts of the state. Now it is being implemented in 142 blocks of 19 districts.
On the first Thursday of Margasira month people across the state worship Mahalaxmi and offer millet to the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
Apart from millet snacks, ragi sweets have also been included in the mid-day meals of schools in Sundergarh and Keonjhar districts.
The United Nations General Assembly has declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets after India proposed it to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Millets are high nutrient cereal crops and are classified as small seeded grasses.
They include jowar (sorghum), ragi (finger millet), korra (foxtail millet), arke (kodo millet), sama (little millet), bajra (pearl millet), chena/barr (proso millet) and sanwa (barnyard millet).
India is one of the major producers of millets in the world with an estimated share of about 41% in the global production.
Major producers of millets are Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.
Millet has been notified as a nutritional cereal by the government in April 2018.
They are a rich source of protein, fiber, minerals, iron, and calcium and have a low glycemic index.
The production of millets in India has increased by 16 % to 17.26 million tonnes (MT) in the 2019-20 crop year (July-June) from 14.5 MT in 2015-16.
In March 2021, India led a UN General Assembly resolution to declare 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
India's proposal was supported by 72 countries.
India is the 5th largest exporter of Millets globally.
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