G20 Summit 2023: Odisha Millet Didis To Represent Tribal Farmers
Image Credit: Subasa Mohanta and Raimati Ghiuria | Twitter

The G20 Summit 2023, to be held on September 9-10 in New Delhi, is not only going to be attended by world leaders like US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and others but will also provide India the perfect platform to represent its culinary, agricultural, artistic and industrial heritage on a global stage. A major focus of the event will be on millets, and two women from Odisha’s tribal communities, Subasa Mohanta and Raimati Ghiuria are among the select few who will be attending the G20 Summit to present the benefits and success story of millet farming to these world leaders. 

Selected by the Odisha Millet Mission to attend the summit, promote traditional and tribal millet cultivation techniques and tell the world about the millet cultivation success stories achieved by themselves and their tribal communities, Mohanta and Ghiuria hail from the Mayurbhanj and Koraput districts of Odisha, respectively. This apart, Mohanta and Ghiuria will also share the benefits of the millet grains they grow in front of the G20 Summit leaders at the two-day event. 

The two tribal women farmers have not only been recognised by the Odisha state government for their role in promoting tribal millet farming techniques. Locally known as mandia, millet farming by tribal communities has increased to 177 blocks across 30 districts under the Odisha Millet Mission, which both women are associated with. Here’s more about these incredible women who have done tribal communities and women farmers of India proud. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Odisha Millets Mission

Raimati Ghiuria 

Raimati Ghiuria is a resident of Nuaguda village, Kundra block, Koraput district, Odisha. She is famed for having preserved 124 local varieties of grains from going extinct due to lack of cultivation. This includes 72 varieties of indigenous paddy and six varieties of millets. By taking the principles of traditional paddy and millet farming forward in her district, she has not only become a successful farmer herself but also helped her tribal community earn better livelihoods by promoting millet farming. 

“I am very happy to attend the G20 Summit,” Ghiuria revealed in a statement. “I will share all about millet farming and its benefits. As a tribal woman, I will also share something about tribal farming in the G20 Summit.” The MS Swaminathan Research Centre in Jeypore, Odisha has provided further training to Ghiuria to enable her for the presentation she will make at the G20 Summit. 

“It is a matter of pride for us,” said Dr Debadrata Panda, Assistant Professor at Koraput Central University about Ghiuria. “The soil of Koraput is good for millets farming. As a tribal woman, Raimati’s efforts to make identification to millets worldwide has set an example for all.” 

Subasa Mohanta 

A resident of Goili village, Jashipur block, Mayurbhanj district, Odisha, Subasa Mohanta’s success story is truly inspirational. While most farmers in her district weren’t interested in millet farming, she started millet cultivation using age-old tribal techniques in 2018 with the support of the Odisha state government’s Odisha Millet Mission. Over the years, she has not only emerged as a successful farmer but also helped her community improve their lives through millet cultivation. She has especially inspired tribal women to take up millet farming to chart their own success stories. 

Awarded for her contributions at both the state and national levels, Mohanta will share her personal success story as well as that of her tribal community and the Odisha Millet Mission at the G20 Summit. “Millet is very beneficial for health,” she said in an interview. “It works as a preventive against various diseases. I thank the state government and Centre for giving me this opportunity.” Mohanta had also participated in the global conference on millets in March 2023, where she had interacted with both PM Narendra Modi and President Droupadi Murmu.