Mysuru firms set to take affordable food technology to the grassroots

October 03, 2016 12:00 am | Updated November 01, 2016 10:36 pm IST - MYSURU:

The Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) and Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement (GRAAM), both of which are based in Mysuru, signed a memorandum of understanding recently to support tribal women entrepreneurs to become self-sufficient.

At a function held at CFTRI, Prof. Ram Rajasekharan, Director, CSIR-CFTRI, exchanged documents with Basavaraju R., Executive Director of GRAAM.

GRAAM has taken up a social business project with the support of NABARD Financial Services Ltd. to facilitate a group of ragi producers to make several value-added products based on ragi and to link them to the nearest market so that the producers benefit by way of increased employment and income. This also supports sustainable ragi production.

Jagankotehaadi in H.D Kote taluk has been chosen for the project. This is traditionally a ragi-growing community whose people are familiar with ragi cultivation and production practices. As part of this initiative, a market survey was undertaken in Mysuru city to understand consumer preferences and the ragi products available in the market.

CSIR-CFTRI has developed a large number of value-added products from millets, including ragi, and a majority of these have been commercialised. The products include ragi-based pappads, decertification of ragi, flaking of ragi, malted ragi flour, millet-based cookies, ragi-based murukku mix, convenience powder from ragi suitable for stiff porridge, etc.

Under the MoU, CSIR-CFTRI will assist GRAAM with technical consultation for the establishment of a production unit, capacity development, and technical support for streamlining production, including hygiene and quality of packaging system.

Mr. Basavaraju thanked the CSIR-CFTRI director the support. He also acknowledged the support from the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, an organisation working for the development of tribal communities in H.D. Kote.

Prof. Ram Rajasekharan said it was a welcome opportunity for CSIR-CFTRI to directly engage with the rural community by offering diverse technology and solutions based on ragi.

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