SME needs in covid-19 crisis
Let’s not forget the quality of food in crisis, Indian millet entrepreneurs speak out
Pan-India survey highlights areas for government intervention
The Green Revolution was a success for stopping starvation but countries suffered nutritionally and environmentally. Let’s remember this during the COVID-19 crisis and ensure we support healthy food and sustainable practices, in addition to supporting entrepreneurs who are pioneers in bringing healthy, convenient and tasty food to us. See the results of a survey of millet entrepreneurs. See more
School Feeding Study
The first-ever ‘reality show for a cause’ with young chefs pan India. This drama-documentary captures the journey of 56 student chefs (28 teams) from 16 culinary institutes across India in their attempts to bring innovative millet cuisines to the table.
Prime Minister Comentary
Smart Food Initiative identified several key issues in developing the value chain for Millets and Sorghum in India: Industry workshops, focus groups and a survey with 78 small to medium enterprises (including farmer producer organizations and product manufacturers) were undertaken.
Top challenges included:
- Attracting Investment Funding
- Costs to sell through large retail chains
- Lack of awareness among consumers
- Image of millets as old-fashioned food.
Smart Food Initiative aims to address these issues and strengthen the supply chain through cluster development model (Read more).
Smart Food Initiative aims to bring millets into mainstream to reach the mass market. A range of activities will be used, including:
- Making it as easy and quick as possible to prepare tasty millet dishes. See recipes section – but much more to come; and
- Making it easy to find millet producers and products. Here is the list of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) producing millets and Sorghum in India. New tools are being developed for finding products made from Millets and Sorghum.
- Change the image of millets to something modern and create a buzz around them. A range of campaign work and engaging celebrity chefs will be undertaken.
Engaging Food Service Industry: Smart Food is a catalyst to spread the value and opportunities for Food service to work with millets. We have worked with Government of Karnataka (Organics and Millets Trade Fair) and MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences.
Smart Food Whatsapp Group
Millets – Organic Farming – Chemical Free Food & Health Facebook Group
Overview paper – from the “State of India’s Livelihoods Report 2019”
THE NEXUS OF BIG ISSUES THAT NEED SOLVING
In the wake of climate change and water scarcity, it is important to ensure that the Indian agriculture sector is equipped with climate resilient approaches and crops that can survivemore stressful environments to maintain food production and meet the increasing demand. On the other hand, there is a global shift towards linking agriculture and nutrition to effectivelycombat the issues relating to nutrition and health. This calls for an overarching need to focus on crops that are suited to meet the current environmental challenges, nutritional needs and provide a sustainable livelihood for the farmers.
Read FULL REPORT about the nexus and key players in the value chain, including:
- Initiatives by Central and State Governments
- Leading NGOs
- the Private Sector Millet Revolution
- International efforts
Supporting the government of India: Smart Food has contributed to the government strategies. This include some Government of India initiatives:
- Renamed Millets and Sorghum as Nutricereals (Gazette Notification 10 April, 2018)
- Declared 2018 as a National Year of Millets (Press Note 22 march, 2018)
- Inclusion of Millets in Mid-day meal (DO letter from MHRD 6 September, 2019)
- Inclusion of Millets in Mid-day meal citing Smart Food (DO letter from MHRD 17 Feb 2020)
- Leading a global movement to have 2023 declared as the International Year of Millets. (Read more)
Signing of an MOU between ICRISAT and IIMR to jointly coordinate Smart Food initiatives in India.
Smart Food millet efforts in India are coordinated in collaboration with:
Incubators for millet entrepreneurs
- 1. ICRISAT’s Agri-Business Incubator (ABI), based in Hyderabad.
- 2. Nutrihub-Technology Business Incubator (Nielan) ICAR-Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), based in Hyderabad.
- 3. WeHub: an incubator for women entrepreneurs. Based in Hyderabad.
- 4. Agri Business Incubation Centre is hosted at Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU) – CoE Pearl Millet
- 5. Technology Business Incubator, TNAU – CoE for millets
- 6. NPIC-CIF Nutra-Phyto Incubation Centre & Common Instrumentation Facility (A project initiated by CSIR-CFTRI, Mysore & KBITS, Govt. of Karnataka)
- 7. a-IDEA: The Technology Business Incubator of NAARM is delighted to invite applications from innovative Agri, Allied, and Agri-Biotech startups to enroll for incubation support.
- 8. MANAGE Centre for Innovation and Agripreneurship (MANAGE-CIA)
- 9. RKVY – RAFTAAR Agri Business Incubator (R-ABI) at Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi.
For a list of millet related farmer producer organizations,
Information is with thanks to Dr V. Palanimuthu, Professor & University Head (Ag Engg), AICRP (Post Harvest Engineering & Technology)University of Agricultural Sciences,GKVK, Bangalore, India