Bhubaneswar: Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan Deemed to be University (SOA) on Tuesday inked an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the India Millet Initiative and Sorghum United of the USA to collaborate on all millet-related activities in Odisha. The primary goals of this collaboration include promoting global water and soil conservation, enhancing food security through the utilization of drought-tolerant grains like sorghum and millets, and establishing small and medium-sized businesses for sustainable products based on ancient grains.
Additionally, the initiative aims to advocate for policies in India supporting the production of sorghum and millets within diversified cropping systems. It also seeks to bolster the objectives of the International Decade of Millets (2024-2034) through the exchange of ideas, student opportunities, research endeavors, trade activities, and fostering meaningful interactions between governmental and private sectors.
A chapter of the Indo-US Millet Initiative will be established within the Centre for Climate Smart Agriculture (CCSA) at SOA, serving as a platform for coordinating all millet-related activities in Odisha. The EOI was signed by SOA’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Pradipta Kumar Nanda, Mr. Nate Blum, CEO of Sorghum United, an international NGO dedicated to advancing education and market development for sorghum and similar grains, and Dr. Satyen Yadav, Chairman of the India Millet Initiative.
The India Millet Initiative, facilitated by the Horticulture Produce Management Institute and registered under the Indian Societies Act, 1860 in Lucknow, has made significant contributions to various agrarian sectors in India. Its objective is to engage a wide range of stakeholders, including farmers, processors, buyers, aggregators, and others involved in promoting millets.
Mr. Blum, an expert in sorghum production and marketing, heads Sorghum United, while Dr. Yadav is an Agribusiness Professional with extensive academic and research credentials.
The signing ceremony was attended by Prof. Santosh Kumar Rout, Dean of the Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAS) at SOA, Prof. B.K. Sahu, Advisor at IAS, Prof. R.K. Panda, Director of CCSA, Prof. U.C. Mohanty, Professor Emeritus at CCSA, Prof. J.M. Gulati, Research Coordinator at IAS, Mr. Pramod Kumar Panda, Chief Administrative Officer at SOA, Dr. Anshuman Jena, and Dr. Subhaprada Das, both Associate Professors at IAS.