Can jowar ever replace rice?

HYDERABAD: “May be the Andhrites will slowly start eating jowar over rice,” was the response from PK Basu, secretary, department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India, when he wa

Published: 15th February 2012 12:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 05:56 PM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: “May be the Andhrites will slowly start eating jowar over rice,” was the response from PK Basu, secretary, department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India, when he was asked about the prospects of growth in demand of Jowar in AP. He was inaugurating the centre of excellence for value addition and food processing, at the Directorate of Sorghum Research (DSR) campus, Rajendranagar here on Tuesday.

In the event held to promote the consumption of Sorghum in the state, he said, “These products are excellent, there is no doubt about the utility, efficacy of these high protein content products”. He also said that the government was in talks with corporates like ITC and Britannia for collaborations on product development commercially. Stating that funding for the programme was never an issue, he said, the government has proposed to continue with the scheme.  

“As part of the Initiative for Nutritional Security through Intensive Millet Promotion (INSIMP) by the Government of India, a centre of excellence was established at Hyderabad to prepare the technology for  preparing “ready to eat and ready to cook” products out of millets in the state,” explained Dr S V Rao, who is a principal scientist at DSR.

“Currently the value additions offered by DSR are Jowar rich multi grain atta, Jowar atta, Jowar flakes, Jowar khichdi rawa, Jowar Idli Rawa, Jowar Rawa, Jowar vermicelli, Jowar Pasta, etc.. These products are marketed with the brand name “eatrite” and are available at Heritage fresh supermarkets and ITC choupal fresh stores apart from a few retail shops in various parts of the city, all at a price that is at par with other commodities in the market,” informed Dr B Dayakar Rao, principal scientist and principal investigator at the centre. When asked about the projected market demand for the value additions to sorghum products, he said, in 2008-09, 57 per cent of the total millet produce was consumed directly by the people in the form of rotis, where as the projected direct consumption is foreseen to be around 41 per cent and around 16 per cent through value addition products. “Value addition itself means additions to the value, the profits are always assured,” said Dr Rao, when asked about the future of their product in the state which is often termed the rice bowl of India.

DSR, Hyderabad, according to Dr B Subbarayudu, a senior scientist, has been transferring cost effective technologies to farmers by all means. Dr Atanu Purkayastha, joint secreatary dept of Agriculture and cooperation, GOI; Dr JP Singh, director, Directorate of millet developement; Dr J V Patil, Director, DSR, were also present at the inauguration.

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