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Millets are recognized as an important substitute for major cereal crops to cope up with worldwide food storage and to meet the demands of increasing population of both the developing and developed countries. They can be well exploited as special purpose food in view of their better nutritional and functional qualities by using appropriate processing technologies. Scientific knowledge and technical competency of this area had turned our farmers and Self Help Group women into entrepreneurs and also improved their socio-economical status.

Keeping these factors in view, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Sirugamani, Tiruchirappalli is keen in training the farmers, farm women, rural youth and Self Help Group women in the area of processing and value addition of millets. This success story is about one group of women who is successfully running a millet processing and value addition unit in Kolakudipatti village at Thottiyam block of Tiruchirappalli.

Mrs. T.N. Nalini is an Executive Director of this GREAT organization (Gramalaya Entrepreneurs Association in Tiruchirappalli) which is a sub-organization of Gramalaya Foundation (NGO). Under Gramalaya Foundation about 3500 Self Help Groups are there. The members of these groups are also involved in processing of millets. The ultimate goal of this foundation is to empower the rural and urban women as an entrepreneur by imparting training programmes.


Two years back the group underwent the training programme by National Research Centre for Banana, Tiruchirappalli.  With this support they have prepared and sold many banana products such as banana biscuits, banana stem pickle and banana flower pickle. After that, they gained preliminary knowledge on Processing and value addition of millets by one day training programme conducted by Home Science College and Research Institute, Madurai.  In due course of time, they need more practical knowledge on millet value addition. On February 2013, they met the Programme Coordinator of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Sirugamani, Tiruchirappalli to gain the technical information on millet value addition and labeling.

Through this training they have gained the knowledge on the importance and future scope of the millets, and then the group had decided to enter into the millet processing and value addition besides with the regular products which they are market already.  The vocational training programme (3 days) on Processing and value addition in millets from 05.02.2013 to 07.02.2013 was arranged to them at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Sirugamani, Tiruchirappalli. Nearly 22 Self Help Group women have attended. After attending the training the groups were much interested and motivated to do the millet processing and value addition. Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Sirugamani, Tiruchirappalli has played a vital role in promoting knowledge and skill on millet processing and value addition.

Apart from this they have nominated by the Directorate of Extension Education, TNAU, Coimbatore to attend the INSIMP sponsored training programmes on “Post Harvest Technologies in Sorghum / Millets” at Directorate of Sorghum Research, Hyderabad during 05.03.2013 & 06.03.2013; and the another training programme on Post Harvest Processing of Pearl Millets during March 6-7, 2014 at Department of Food Science, College of Home Science, CCSHAU, Hisar. During these programmes they have gained more practical knowledge on Processing and value addition of millets particularly sorghum and pearl millet. Then as per the directions of Honourable Vice Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, they have attended the training programme on “Packaging Techniques” at Post Harvest Technology Centre, TNAU, Coimbatore on 19th March 2013. In addition to this, this group and their self help group women have been involved in the programme of Farmers’ Field School on Millet Cultivation and Value Addition which is conducted by KVK, Sirugamani, Tiruchirappalli.

With the technical support from the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Sirugamani, Tiruchirappalli they have started to prepare and market many millet based products such as Sorghum biscuits, Sorghum idly rawa, Sorghum kesari rawa, millet health mix, millet chappathi mix, Health mix laddu, millet adai mix, millet puttu mix, foxtail millet laddu, foxtail millet payasam mix, pearl millet laddu, Wheat laddu, pearl millet biscuit, millet vadagam, Varagu pakoda, Ragi pakoda etcin retail market. In addition to this, with the continuous support of KVK, Sirugamani, Tiruchirappalli they are producing many value added products from different crops such as banana, onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, greens etc.
Initially they marketed their products within the group members only. After the acceptance of the products by the group members they seek the market outlets. Around 20 kgs of each product were prepared daily and sold at retail shops at near Thottiyam block and Trichy, and Uzhavar Santhai (Trichy and Musiri). Now they are sending their products to Chennai, Coimbatore, Karur, Vellore, Namakkal districts of Tamil Nadu with FSSAI Certification.

The group exhibits their products in all the exhibitions and meetings through Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Sirugamani, Tiruchirappalli which gives an advertisement to their products freely. In addition to this, the details of products which are produced by this group and contact address and phone number have been displayed at KVK’s entrepreneurs’ information board at KVK, Sirugamani, Tiruchirappalli. The details of the same will also be updated in KVK’s website. Through KVK, Sirugamani, Tiruchirappalli, their products have been popularized in Doordharsan (Ponvilayum Poomi Prog.) and Puthiyathalaimurai Channels (Tamil Channels). After this they are getting many orders from various districts of Tamil Nadu.

Thiruchirappalli District Collector has appreciated team works and also motivated them during the Pudhiya Thalamurai Agri Expo 2013 at Tiruchirappalli on 15.02.2013. They received 2nd prize by Th. Rajendhran, DOA (TN Govt.) on millet festival conducted by Collectorate, Tiruchirappalli on 08.08.2013.


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