Two days workshop-cum-exhibition on “Empowering women through production and processing of millets” in collaboration with ICAR-Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering (CIAE), Bhopal during 8-9 February, 2023

A two days workshop-cum-exhibition on “Empowering women through production and processing of millets” was organized by ICAR-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (ICAR-CIWA) in collaboration with ICAR-Central Institute of agricultural Engineering (ICAR-CIAE), Bhopal during 8-9 February 2023 at Silver Jubliee Hall of partner organization i.e ICAR-CIAE, Bhopal.
About 300 participants consisting of farm women, SHGs, NGOs, Progressive farmers, industry partners from different corners of Madhya Pradesh were attended these two days Workshop-cum-Exhibition during 8-9 February 2023.

Inaugural session

  • On 8th Feb 2023,  the inaugural programme started at 10:30 AM where Er. Rajiv Chaudhary, Director, Agricultural Engineering, Government of Madhya Pradesh was the Chief Guest of the function.
  • During the programme, Dr. C.R. Mehta, Director, ICAR-CIAE, Bhopal briefed about machinery available at the institute for the production and processing of millets as well as value-added products. He also urged participants to come forward in celebrating international year of millets: 2023 in a holistic manner of what the nation envisaged. He also appreciated and praised the role of CIWA in carrying out gender led movement in the country for gender equality, gender parity and women entrepreneurship.
  • The Chief Guest Er. Rajiv Chaudhary, Director, Agricultural Engineering, Government of Madhya Pradesh mentioned on various ongoing schemes in agricultural engineering technologies for millets processing and shared his experience on role of process engineers to cope with the public demand and govt. initiative with respect to the development of millet based products and also the development of millet machineries. He emphasized on nutritional benefits of millets, the role of women in production and processing, FPOs on millets and its marketability. 
  • Dr. Mridula Devi, Director, ICAR-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture, Bhubaneswar stated that continuous research and development as well as efficient dissemination of technologies for millets production and processing will increase the income of women farmers and would also provide health benefits to the consumers. When given the opportunity, women in our country can accomplish any target with active support of various departments and the society. Women’s ambitions, goals, and expectations are rising in tandem with India’s tremendous growth.Gender mainstreaming through breaking gender stereotype, sensitization, women economic empowerment and bridging gender gap thorough processing of millets is the need of the hour to cope with celebration of IYoM and women led G 2O action plan.
  • Dr. Dipika Agrahar Murugcar, Principal Scientist, CIAE, Bhopal described the relevance of workshop in detail for the benefits of women farmers. In today's programme, organic farming of millets, its farm mechanization, processing and promotion of entrepreneurship is imperative to curtail the demand of rice and wheat. An exhibition of farm and processing equipmentand various millets products developed and marketed by women farmers was the center of attraction this workshop.
  • Dr. Sabita Mishra, Principal Scientist, CIWA, Bhubaneswarthe co-organising secretary in her talk elaborated on G20 led Gender activity in  CIWA for celebrating IYoM-2023 and put emphasis on gender considerations mainstreaming into G20 that foster gender equality and women's economic empowerment.
  • Dr. Sachidananda Swain, Sr. Scientist & the convener of the workshop proposed vote of thanks. Thereafter, exhibition was inaugurated by the dignitaries near the Silver Jubillee hall where millet based products (biscuits, noodles, ladoos & poha etc) and machineries (dehuller-cum-cleaner, flaker, polisher and extruders etc) were showcased by different SHGs, FPOs, NGOs and manufacturers.

This was followed by technical sessions where lead experts from CIWA, Bhubaneswar, CIAE, IISS, Bhopal presented their topic with respect to organic millet production for sustainable agriculture, mechanized millet production, empowerment and entrepreneurship development, millets based value added products and its economy, millet machineries developed, starts-up and business opportunities on millet processing etc

During second day, a Farmers-Stake holders-Industry interface meeting was organized where about five industrial partners of CIAE along with progressive farmers were participated. The interaction and the lectures delivered by the experts were commendable and thats have a good exposure to enhance knowledge of skill in the area of millet processing and value addition to the participants. A discussion on the use of women-friendly tools and funding opportunities for women farmers was held. Many women-led FPO’s, entrepreneurs, NGO’s working in the area of millets shared their experiences.

The programme was coordinated by Dr. Sabita Mikshra, PS (Agril. Extension) and technically supported by Mrs. Tapaswini Sahoo, and Mr. Atul Chetan Hemrom, Sr. Techncial Officer, ICAR-CIWA, Bhubaneswar.