Sundergarh: Influenced by the State’s government mission to revitalize millet in farms and plates, a woman farmer has become self-sufficient by growing little millet, locally known as Suan, in arid lands at Talasara vilage under Balishankara block in Sundergarh district.
Sarita Sahu of Talasara, who became an influencer for other farmers, started cultivating the traditional food grain on 15 acres of infertile land applying better technology and scientific method. Now, she successfully, took forward the Government’s Millet Mission programme in her locality.
The little millet or Suan which was on the verge of extinction despite having higher nutrient content compared to other grains, has been revived with many like Sarita opting for the old grain due to its high yielding nature with low investment.
Sarita who is a landless farmer took 15 acres of land from seven farmers of her village on lease. Inspired by the success story of the woman farmer, others in the village also started cultivating the traditional grains.
The cultivation gives her good returns every year. She expected a turnover of over Rs 3 lakh this year.
“I took an interest in cultivating suan after attending the meeting of Millet Mission sevak. Mostly, the delicacies like, millet biscuits, cookies and others attracted me to go for such farming. This farming consumes less investment compared to paddy and it gives a bumper harvest. This time, I expect a return of Rs 3 lakh. It is not a labour-intensive crop unlike paddy,” Sarita said.
Like Ragi, Suan has also highly nutritious and can be used in the making of various delicacies like cookies, ladoo, cake, biscuit and household odia recipe like khiri.
Initially, she cultivated the grains with traditional methods. Her determination and strong willpower pleased agriculture officials in her block who extended all government assistance. Officials of Millet Mission, the agriculture department and social organization in the block provided her with modern equipment and imparted training in modern farming to reap high benefits.
“After Ragi, we now want to promote suan cultivation. Our millet Mission sevaks are also giving training to the farmers. We help them, beginning from sowing to selling, said Monalisha Padhi, block coordinator, Millet Mission .