It has been long since Y. Parimala, a resident of Akkayyapalem, wanted to replace rice-based dishes that often dot her dining table with much healthier stuff.
The live demonstration of preparing food with humble millets, presented by Susag Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO), gave wings to her idea of tweaking the daily menu. Now, she is sure of tossing up delicious items incorporating a host of tiny grains such as ragi (finger millet) , korralu (foxtail millet) and sajjalu(pearl millet).
Similarly, those residing in her apartment block are serious about whipping up millet-based dishes more than ever. The live demo initiative at the apartment complexes taken up by Susag FPO is drawing the attention of the health-conscious. Started a week before with the support of Sarada Valley Development Samithi, members of the organisation have already covered four apartment complexes located at Akkayyapalem, Sivajipalem, Gopalapatnam and Madhurawada.
Through a demo, a team of three will help tweak the menus at home. “In addition, a pack of millet-based value-added products, ready-to-eat snacks and processed millets readied by an army of 960 women farmers of Susag Chiru Dhanyala Chellella Sangham will be put on display as a part of the endeavour,” says S. Kannam Naidu, CEO of Susag.
Supported by the FPO, these women farmers have been engaged in millet cultivation spread over 2,000 acres at Pedabayalu mandal of Visakhapatnam district.
Trained by NABARD
After getting trained by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) under the banner of livelihood enterprise development, representatives of Susag FPO have intensified their millet promotion campaign and they find the live demo an easy option to reach more number of households. “The target is to cover 100 apartments and individual houses a week and we have already completed visiting 80. The process of preparing foxtail millet khichdi , ragi dosa , ragi idli , proso millet upma and pearl millet khichdi will be explained in detail along with the nutritional value of each recipe,” explains R. Umalatha, marketing manager of Susag.
Another factor that makes the endeavour effective is the growing demand for millet-based products. “Among other items prepared at our processing unit at Pedabayalu, instant atta mix, bajra flour, instant dosa mix and ragi powder top the demand list,” adds Ms. Umalatha.