By Priyanka Singh & the Seva Mandir team - Project Associate
2023 has been declared the International Year of Millets by the United Nations. To continue efforts in reviving farming, Seva Mandir facilitated a women Self-Help Group to work with specific focus on millets, which has been one of the oldest cultivated food grains, traditionally grown and consumed by tribal communities and small farmers. Seva Mandir launched an initiative in Panarwa cluster, of Phalasia tehsil, to revive millet cultivation within villages with an aim to create a long-term impact on farmers’ livelihoods and nutrition, as well as enhance the ecosystem. Women farmers were mobilized to produce traditional millet food and sell it at events in cities. The women worked on millet cultivation, sold packaged millet products (sweets, cakes, pudding) at events, served millet lunches and conducted awareness campaigns about nutritional value of millets. The response was promising! With a positive reaction to these lunches, the women have now been experimenting with more millet recipes to share. They are also training Balwadi Sanchalika’s (child day care centre staff) to make millet meals, with the aim of incorporating millet recipes into Balwadis. Introducing nutrient-dense millet meals in Balwadis are now further helping to combat malnutrition in children. These efforts have not only helped increase the women's pride in millets, but also provided a financial incentive for them to keep cultivating. Moving forward, Seva Mandir is exploring the possibility of creating a social enterprise with these women farmers. We thank you for your continuous support for our farmer community. Your support and trust in our work and their hard work is integral. Thanks and best regards,
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