SOA joins hands with India Millet Initiative and Sorghum United

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SOA millet
Dignitaries during the signing of the EOI in Bhubaneswar.

Bhubaneswar: Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan Deemed to be University (SOA) took a significant step towards advancing millet-related activities in Odisha by signing an Expression of Interest (EOI) on Tuesday. The collaboration involves partnering with the India Millet Initiative and Sorghum United from the USA.

The primary objectives of this initiative encompass global water and soil conservation, food security measures utilising drought-tolerant grains like sorghum and millets, and the establishment of small and medium businesses for sustainable products based on ancient grains.

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The partnership aims to advocate for favourable policies in India to promote the production of sorghum and millets within diversified cropping systems. Additionally, it will actively contribute to the goals of the International Decade of Millets (2024-34) through activities such as idea exchange, student opportunities, research, trade and meaningful interactions with government and private sectors.

As part of this collaboration, a chapter of the Indo-US Millet Initiative will be established in the Centre for Climate Smart Agriculture (CCSA) at SOA, focusing on coordinating millet-related activities in Odisha.

The EOI was formally signed by SOA’s vice-chancellor, Prof Pradipta Kumar Nanda, Nate Blum, CEO of Sorghum United and Dr Satyen Yadav, chairman of India Millet Initiative.

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The India Millet Initiative, registered under the Indian Societies Act, 1860 at Lucknow and promoted by the Horticulture Produce Management Institute, has played a vital role in various agrarian sectors in India. Its mission is to bring together farmers, processors, buyers, aggregators, and other stakeholders involved in promoting millets.

Nate Blum, an expert in sorghum production and marketing, leads Sorghum United. Dr Satyen Yadav, an agribusiness professional with a substantial academic and research background, chairs the India Millet Initiative.

The signing ceremony was attended by key figures from SOA, including Prof Santosh Kumar Rout, dean of the Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAS), Prof BK Sahu, advisor, IAS, Prof RK Panda, director, CCSA, Prof UC Mohanty, Professor Emeritus at CCSA, Prof JM Gulati, research coordinator, IAS, Pramod Kumar Panda, chief administrative officer, SOA, Dr Anshuman Jena and Dr Subhaprada Das, both associate professors at IAS.

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