As a part of the incubation program, the Incubatees had a wonderful opportunity to hear on the latest Millet research and industry trends directly from the IIMR scientists on the below topics.
- Overview of Sorghum & Millets Crop Improvement Scenario In India: Dr. C. Aruna, Principal Scientist, ICAR-IIMR
- Seed production & practices an overview: Dr. B V Bhat, Principal Scientist, ICAR-IIMR
- Industrial Usage of Sorghum/Millets: Dr. A.V. Umakanth, Principal Scientist, ICAR-IIMR
Dr. Aruna emphasized on diversifying food in our country with more healthier choices by introducing millets as a part of our staple diet. She also added that Nutrihub will provide advisory services to farmers by giving them machinery support, establishing processing clusters for value addition of millets, extending R&D support for pilot testing and up-scaling of the technology.
Dr. B V Bhat continued with explaining that the worth of any fodder depends mainly on the concentration of energy and protein in the dry matter of that feed while Bajra fodder contains 18% protein bringing attention to the importance of Millets in Forage Industry in India. He also gave an overview of the price variances of different seeds and classes of seeds.
Dr. Umakanth mentioned that cabinet through National Policy on Biofuels – 2018 expanded the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing the use of Sweet Sorghum and mentioned that it will bring additional Income to Farmers by using those agricultural residues/waste or damaged grains which otherwise are burnt by the farmers can be converted to ethanol and can fetch a price for these waste if a market is developed for the same.
After these presentations, the incubatees interacted with IIMR scientists and had the discussion on various topics followed by a Guided tour of IIMR labs and facilities. Incubatees proceeded to visit Centralized lab / Biochemistry, Marker Assisted Lab (MAS), GENE Bank, Centre of Excellence, Primary Processing lab and Food Processing Lab–I and sales counter. In addition to these visits and presentations, there was also an interactive brainstorming session on Marketing campaigns where entrepreneurs have decided to help the organization and decided to contribute to raise awareness of millets and health benefits through collective initiation. Their Mantra – “Grow Together” is reflected in these budding startups.