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Startup Odisha launches Millet Innovation Challenge



Millets in Odisha hold a storied legacy of safeguarding food security and bolstering climate resilience for tribal communities. To further empower this sector, there is an increasing need for Startups and innovation to promote millet cultivation, encourage their consumption, and create economic opportunities within this sustainable agricultural domain. In light of this Startup Odisha has launched the Millet Innovation Challenge on the sidelines of International Millets Convention. This challenge serves as a platform for recognized startups operating within the millet industry to pitch their transformative solutions and ideas. By participating, the startups have the opportunity to win monetary prizes, receive promotional support, and even gain an exclusive opportunity to pilot their solutions with the Odisha Millet Mission.

Startups with expertise in diverse Millet industry sectors such as Branding and Packaging, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Quality Assurance and Safety, and Financial and Legal Mechanisms Management are encouraged to participate in this distinctive challenge.

Dr. Omkar Rai, Executive Chairman, Startup Odisha said, “The Millet Innovation Challenge is a crucial step towards fostering innovation in the millet industry. It marks the beginning of a transformative journey where millets will play a central role in ensuring food security, empowering local communities, and driving economic growth. Through this challenge, we aim to catalyse a wave of innovative solutions that will shape a sustainable and prosperous future for Odisha.”

Dr. Arabinda Kumar Padhee, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Government of Odisha said, “Unlocking the immense potential of millets is at the core of the Millet Innovation Challenge, driven by Startup Odisha. The primary goal of the Millet Innovation Challenge is to support startups in creating innovative solutions that enhance millet processing, improve value addition, and expand the market for millet-based products. This challenge is a significant leap towards a more resilient Odisha, guided by the spirit of innovation.”

The application deadline was set for November 5, 2023, followed by the 1st Round Pitch Presentations on November 7, 2023. The winners of the 1st round will be announced on November 8, 2023, with the final pitching event taking place at the International Millets Convention on November 10, 2023. The challenge will culminate with the announcement of the top 3 winners on the same day. The top 3 Startups, distinguished for their innovation and dedication, will receive monetary awards of Rs 3 lakh, Rs 2 lakh, and Rs 1 lakh, respectively.

In the heart of Odisha, the Millet Innovation Challenge promises to be a transformative force, a testament to the resilience and potential of millets in shaping a sustainable and prosperous future. With the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and a shared vision of a thriving millet industry, this challenge stands poised to make a lasting impact on the state’s agriculture and economy. As these startups rise to the occasion, Odisha’s journey towards a healthier, more prosperous, and sustainable tomorrow begins.

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