City-based millet incubator to be boon for farmers, entrepreneurs

The institute has recently been sanctioned a grant of Rs10 crore to establish a technology-business incubator, the first of its kind in the country.

Published: 05th April 2017 01:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th April 2017 04:15 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: At a time when drought-resistant indigenous millets of Telangana beg for more attention not just as a nutritional food supplement and staple diet, the city-based Indian Institute of Millet Research (IIMR) has opened up an entire market for dryland farmers and entrepreneurs.
The institute has recently been sanctioned a grant of `10 crore to establish a technology-business incubator, the first of its kind in the country, by the department of science and technology of the Union government. The budgetary allocation will begin this April. Named NIELAN (Nurturing Incubation Entrepreneurship with Leverage of Agri-innovation in Nutri-cereals), the facility set up on the IIMR campus at Rajendranagar will accommodate about 10 entrepreneurs.

IIMR director Vilas A Tonapi said, supply of millets does not match the huge demand for the cereal. “We have all the technologies and the market for value addition products. On the policy front too, we would love to work with the state government. Otherwise, all the R&D means nothing,” he said.  The incubatees will have close to 70 technologies (including ready-to-consume products, shelf-life technologies, bio-fortification to enhance functionality of food, machinery, packaging and labelling) generated at the institute to choose from, apart from an entire value chain of production to consumption. The necessary infrastructure such as office space, factory and storage facility will also be provided on the campus for the same period, explained B.Dayakar Rao, principal scientist who will head the incubator.  
Rao said that the researchers and scientists will offer mentoring on physical as well as financial aspects. .

“We are bringing together millet farmers from all over the country to form a consortium, link them with self-help groups and NGOs and form FPOs (farmer producer organisations) which would be like a vibrant commercial face of cooperatives,” said Rao. “At the moment, the farmer does not benefit much. To make the system sustainable, we need to do backward integration. With FPOs and production clusters, farmers would start benefiting immensely. The erstwhile districts of Rangareddy, Medak, Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda and Adilabad have the potential to become supply hubs,” he said.
Millets are grown in Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka apart from Telangana. In the state, yellow jowar in Mahbubnagar is the most widely cultivated millet.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp