Millet makeover: Coarse grains, women SHGs get new identity in Chhattisgarh

The state government has taken a slew of measures to encourage farmers to produce millets

R Krishna Das Raipur

Millet farm | Wikimedia Commons

Rohini Patnaik, member of a self-help group (SHG) that runs Chhattisgarh’s maiden Millet Café, never imagined that a pizza or manchurian made of millet would suit the taste buds of the millennials.  
Thanks to the Millet Mission of Chhattisgarh, the coarse grains — once considered cheap — have not only got a new identity but are also empowering women economically. Run by members of a women SHG, the state’s first Millet Cafe in Raigarh city was set up with the initial support of the district administration. 

The café has now turned profitable, claim SHG members Veena Miri and Rameshwari Yadav. “We are now earning a good income each month, which is helping us to become self-reliant and support our families financially,” they say. 
The menu includes chilla, dosa, momos, pizza, noodles, ragi-based pasta, burgers, manchurian, and kodo biryani — all made of millet. “People have started liking the dishes, and the sale is also increasing,” Patnaik said, adding that the sales had increased to Rs 3 lakh every month. 

The millets commonly grown in India include jowar (sorghum), bajra (pearl millet), ragi (finger millet), jhangora (barnyard millet), barri (proso or common millet), kangni (foxtail/Italian millet), kodra (kodo millet), etc. 
In a fresh boost to the mission, the Union government has approved Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s proposal of including millets under the midday meal scheme.

Also Read

ESMA-Indian regulators logjam: European banks' loss may aid US peers

UP eyes bigger pie of millet exports, plans to expand jowar acreage

The return of the millets

PMJDY accounts hit 462.5 mn in eight yrs, deposits reach Rs 1.73 trillion

Rage rooms are all the rage but are they a healthy way of venting anger?

CBI to question Deputy CM Manish Sisodia in excise policy case on Feb 26

Renewed focus on tourism in Rajasthan to drive economic growth

ED attaches bribe of Rs 20 lakh seized from an NHAI official under PMLA

ED raids Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh, party claims vendetta politics

No one votes on the basis of candidates' educational qualifications: SC

“Now four days a week, millet-based food products will be distributed in place of soy chikki in 12 districts under the Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Yojana,” a state government spokesperson said. 
The state government has taken a slew of measures to encourage farmers to produce millets. They include procuring the crop, such as kodo kutki ragi, at support price and providing an input subsidy of Rs 9,000 to farmers. 

First Published: Feb 20 2023 | 10:20 PM IST

Explore News