Visakhapatnam: In the not-too-distant future, ragi (finger millet), jonna (sorghum) and multi-grain organic biscuits could give long-standing branded biscuits a run for their money, going by the way the former, manufactured organically by tribal women, are flooding various city markets across the State.
Nutritious organic biscuits
Interestingly, three types of such organic biscuits, exhibited at the ongoing World Food Festival, New Delhi, received overwhelming response. Since they are relatively cheaper and have healthier nutritional content, they are preferred for breakfast and as evening snacks.
A packet of these biscuits weighing 200 gms is now available in these markets at a price of just Rs 60. The KR Puram ITDA, after a series of exercises and experiments, has now successfully launched the product in the open markets.
The biscuits are being made as part of a project envisaged to provide self-employment avenues to tribal women. The ITDA requested the KVK, Horticulture University in Tadepalligudam, West Godavari district, to provide technical assistance to the women. The Krishi Vignan Kendram of the university trained 60 tribal women.
After dividing 60 women into two groups, the ITDA, KR Puram, funded the setting up of the manufacturing unit. The raw material used to make the biscuits is procured from organically cultivated crops in the agency areas. The ITDA is marketing the product presently in five districts viz.
Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari districts. “Initially, we supplied the biscuits as nutritious food to tribal students studying in our schools in the ITDA jurisdiction.
The biscuits are also supplied to HIV affected patients as nutritious food. Now, barcodes are being obtained for selling them in the open markets. Honestly speaking, the entire credit for this goes to my predecessor Shan Mohan,” said present Project Officer Harindra Prasad.
The ITDA is offering dealership to market these biscuits. In view of the overwhelming response to organic biscuits, the ITDA is planning to expand the existing units at various places and launch new ones in malls.
“We are approaching shopping malls to place the product. There is good response. Several others in various cities want dealership for the biscuits. The biscuits are high-fibre, low-fat, low calories and high protein.
At present, each member of the group is getting Rs 10,000 per month as revenue,” Job District Manager, ITDA, KR Puram Krishna Reddy told The Hans India.
By VKL Gayatri