Hyderabad: FLO’s virtual Biz Talk, the first in the series on Business Opportunities in Millets for women entrepreneurs was held here in the city today. It was organised by FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) pan India for the benefit of their members
Dr. Vilas A Tonapi, Director of Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) and Dr. B DayakarRao, Principal Scientist & CEO – Nutrihub of Indian Institute of Millets Research addressed the session.
Welcoming the gathering Millet, UsharaniManne, Chairperson of FLO Hyderabad said Millets score highly over grains like wheat and rice in nutritional value earning them the status as “Nutri-cereals”. Millets offer so many benefits. With so many things going in its favour, the Millet Industry is the best bet for India to meet the rising demand for nutritious food.
Recognising which, FLO Hyderabad has entered into an MoU with IIMR – Indian Institute of Millet Research, to create a FLO Incubator at Nutrihub, IIMR whereby the two organisations will be working towards creating an appropriate platform for women entrepreneurs to garner the power to produce wealth by participating in the Millets industry, Usharani announced.
The mission, the FLO Chairperson said, is to provide opportunities to transform ideas into businesses, facilitate a nurturing, instructive, and supportive environment for entrepreneurs during the startup stage, and support them with an array of targeted resources and services. The incubator will also provide Technology consultancy, Business facilitation, Financial advisory,
Infrastructure support and facilitate interactions with experts, mentors, advisors and investors. As an organisation that aims at assisting women in achieving financial freedom,FLO Hyderabad has been exploring several options that can be availed of by our members, she said.
For many years, India was the world’s major producer of millet. However, we changed our priorities somewhere along the journey. IIMR in its 60 years journey just focused on Sorghum for 53 years and in the last several years we are focusing on other millets such as Jowar, Bajra and Ragi etc. Millets are good for health. They are nutrition-rich. We much encourage us to grow more and eat more. This food can be medicine for all especially we all are fighting lifestyle diseases. I am not asking you to bid goodbye to existing food but bring fusion into food plate. Take forward millets to every house. Adjust your food plate. This change can be the answer to all your lifestyle diseases, he said.
We have Nutrihub to support entrepreneurs who want to enter into Millets Business. NutriHub is the Central government’s Department of Science & Technology (DST) supported Technology Business Incubator hosted by the Indian Institute of Millet Research, ICAR – IIMR, Hyderabad. … It has been helping many startups in technical and product development support, technology transfer and cross-learning for women entrepreneurs, Dr. Vilas A. Tonapi said. We look forward to partner to aid women entrepreneurs in agribusiness, he said.
Dr. DayakarRao also presented a walkthrough about ‘Millets Value Chain’.Millets are also known as smart foods. They are good for the Planet as they grow in harsh climatic conditions, need less water and drought resistant. They are also good for farmers as they are short-duration crops and can fetch good income.
Technologies for puffing, flaking, baking, cold extrusion etc are developed for millet-based products to commercialise and package these products. Millet Pasta, Vermicelli, millet Upma, millet sambar mix, such ready to cook products are developed. IIMR developed over 85 millet based recipes that come under different categories like breakfast, lunch, sweets, savouries to include in our daily diet. We have built Eatrite, a brand laboriously built and marketed, solely for popularising millets as a healthy food option, he shared. Now we have created 400 plus brands in just four years, he said.
He listed out Farm Gate Aggregation and Procurement; Machinery Fabrication, Value-added products (such as ready to eat, ready to cook, beverages, plant-based, fortified and nutraceuticals) etc.
Nutrihub incubation provides Technology Consultancy, Identification of suitable products, Mentoring, Nurturing Innovation, Feasibility studies, infrastructure and other facilities. All these effots lead to more than Rs 500crore in business with more than 400 startups engaged. We have been successful in creating demand for sorghum through diversification in sorghum/millet food processing technologies and their commercialisation, informed DayakarRao.
Nutrihub’ is the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India supported Technology Business Incubator hosted by the Indian Institute of Millet Research, ICAR – IIMR, Hyderabad. It is a unique and first of its kind to cater start-ups needs in the Nutricereals sector in the country, Dr Rao informed. It’s vision Rao said is to Commercialise innovations and startups in Nutricereals Industry with best in the class support system for entrepreneurs.”
It incubated 15 startups,commercialised 44 technologies, 68 technologies were transferred to entrepreneurs and industries. It has 60 millets product technologies available for commercialisation.