Padhee bats for Millet
Bhubaneswar: Arabinda Kumar Padhee, Principal Secretary, Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment has said that, by promoting millets the hotels will improve the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers and women self help groups.He said that hotels can play role of catalyst in changing the discourse and palate of urban consumers.Dr.Padhee was addressing hoteliers here on 29 June in the consultative meeting organized by Odisha Millets Mission (OMM). Hotel and Restaurant Association (HRAO) Members joined brainstorm to devise a strategy to promote millets.Dr. Padhee, Principal Secretary, Agriculture shared that Chief Minister has declared 10 November as “Millet Day”. On this occasion, Department of Agriculture is planning to organise an International convention on millets in Bhubaneswar.He requested HRAO to actively participate in the convention and encourage their members to promote millets in their hotels in a massive way. He stressed again that HRAO is a very important member and stakeholder of Odisha Millets Mission.Representatives from Swosti Premium, Food Junction The New Marion, Pal Heights, Swosti Grand, Hotel Excellency, Barjorjis Hotels, Suryansh Hotels and others participated from HRAO.Meeting also saw participation from FICCI, Tourism Department and other departmental officials.Milind Gupta, Food Junction & Secretary General, HRAO shared that they have been engaging with OMM for one year. Hotels have actively participated in millet session of Make in Odisha and promotion of millets actively during the Hockey World Cup. He said that many hotels have already started serving millet recipes in pilot basis.Hariom Kumar, F&B Manager, Swosti Premium shared that they are including the milletbased bakery products in their hotel. Atish Kumar Baral F&B Manager, Swosti Grand shared they have also included Ragi upma in pilot basis in few locations and response has been very good.K K Rao Executive Secretary, HRAO shared that hotels such as ITC have already started special millet buffet for special occasions. Things will improve once the demand increases among the consumers.Representatives of HRAO made many suggestions for scaling up millet promotion through hotels/restaurants. They suggested that a framework and standard operating protocols should be developed for reference of hotels.This will help hotels to standardize their products more effectively. A recipe bank for traditional and modern millet recipes should be prepared and shared widely. In addition, massive awareness campaigns on health benefits of millets can be taken by the Government. HRAO said that they are interested to engage with OMM to streamline the supply chain of millets.Prem Chandra Chaudhury, Director, Agriculture & Food Production suggested that millet food festivals can be organised in collaboration with HRAO members. Millet snacks can be placed in the hotel rooms.Information brochures on advantages of millets can be placed in the rooms of the guests. Video clips and standees can also be placed in the hotels to create more awareness among the guests. He said that millets are a future food and is hope for many lifestyle diseases. Market for millets is growing day by day.OMM is also engaging with doctors, dieticians and others to create more awareness about millets. Representative from Tourism Department shared that they have already included millet menu in their hotels. They will also scale up the inclusion activities. In addition, millet standees have been placed in all the hotels of OTDC.Promotion of millets shall also be taken up in eco-retreat locations, tourist destinations, etc. Tourism department is also keen to collaborate in promotion and branding of millets through the regular tourism promotional activities of the department.HRAO shared that they are very excited to collaborate with the department. They will actively promote millets and will work with OMM on developing bigger product range. A detail action plan will be developed in collaboration with HRAO to promote millets in mission mode. Meeting ended with playing of Mandia Song by Grammy Award Winner Ricky Kej.