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Ivar Agro kickstarts millet-based food project in Uttarakhand, aims to empower local farmers

Uttarakhand: Ivar Agro has launched an agro-business project in Biharigarh, Uttarakhand to produce millet-based food products. The company plans to invest Rs 200 crore for this project, which aims to empower millet growers and provide them with the opportunity to partner in large-scale production of millet-based food items. The project will begin with the production of millet biscuits and cookies with a monthly production capacity of 1,000 tonnes.

Picture: Kumaon Jagran

The company plans to target the domestic and international market in 2023.

Millet-based products are becoming increasingly popular due to their nutritional and sustainable qualities. The Indian government has recognized the importance of millets and has made efforts to promote their consumption. In her budget speech, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that India is the global hub for millets or "Shri Anna" and is at the forefront of popularizing millets, which furthers nutrition, food security, and welfare of farmers.

Picture: Kumaon Jagran

India is the largest producer and second-largest exporter of millets globally. Millets are grown as a Kharif crop in India, requiring less water and agricultural inputs than other staples. Millets commonly grown in India include Jowar (sorghum), Bajra (pearl millet), Ragi (finger millet), Jhangora (barnyard millet), Barri (Proso or common millet), Kangni (foxtail/Italian millet), and Kodra (Kodo millet).

Ivar Agro's project is aligned with the government's initiative to promote millet growers and food products based on it. The company's modern automated machines will be well integrated from raw materials to finished items. The project aims to generate livelihoods, increase farmers' income, and contribute to food and nutritional security. The company plans to employ over 200 workers initially, and over 75% of the workforce will come from local areas.

The company aims to increase demand for millet-based products such as millet flour, millet flakes, and millet-based snacks-biscuits and cookies. This increase in demand can result in better prices for millet farmers, as well as greater income security. In the long run, the project aims to promote sustainable food systems and improve the health and nutrition outcomes of consumers.

Ivar Agro plans to create employment opportunities in Biharigarh and provide training and support to millet growers to improve the quality of their crops, adopt sustainable farming practices, and connect with markets. With IYM 2023, the Indian government aims to make India the global hub for millets. Ivar Agro's project will help the people of Biharigarh become the frontrunner in this movement.

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