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Tribal Trailblazer Raimata Ghiruria: ‘Queen of Millets

Meet Raimata Ghiruria, a pioneer in tribal communities, affectionately dubbed the ‘Queen of Millets’. She has dedicated her life to preserving and advancing traditional farming methods, with a particular emphasis on Indian millets. For three decades, she has tirelessly worked to conserve over 30 varieties of these nutritious grains. Her commitment to safeguarding India’s rich agricultural heritage benefits future generations.

Raimata Ghiruria’s Participation at the G-20 Summit
Raimata recently participated as a guest at the G-20 summit, attended by delegates from various countries, including Australia, China, Italy, and the European Union. There, she had the opportunity to meet with President Draupadi Murmu and engage in meaningful discussions. Her remarkable preservation efforts encompass at least 72 traditional paddy varieties and 30 millet varieties, such as Kundra Bati, Mandia, Jasra, Juana, and Jamkoli. Her recognition on a national level serves as evidence of her capacity to drive positive global change.

Inspiration and Remarkable Achievements
Born and raised in Nuaguda village, Koraput district, Odisha, Raimata grew up in an agricultural family and began farming at a young age. Despite marrying at 16, she continued to pursue her passion for collecting and preserving millet varieties while fulfilling her familial duties. Over time, she adopted improved technologies and scientific methods to enhance millet quality and productivity. She openly acknowledges legendary Padma Shri awardee Kamala Pujari as her inspiration. Since entering the farming domain, her efforts have paved the way for a sustainable agricultural revolution.

In recognition of her exceptional contributions, Raimata has been honored with the title ‘Millet Queen’ at the state level. Raimata Ghiruria received the Best Farmer Award from ICAR-IISWC, Sunabeda, in 2016, and the Best Farmer Award at the Traditional Food Festival by TATA Steel, Nuamundi, in 2018. Raimata expresses that she has garnered immense respect from her in-laws and global leaders, which motivates her to conserve more varieties and bring pride to her state. Millets offer numerous benefits, making them invaluable in today’s world. Rich in nutrients and gluten-free, they are an ideal choice for individuals with dietary restrictions. By incorporating millets into our diets, we not only enhance our overall health but also contribute to environmental sustainability.

Raimata Ghiruria’s leadership and unwavering dedication have not only revolutionized the agricultural landscape but have also empowered women farmers to recognize millets as valuable products in our society.

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