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Visakhapatnam: Millet farmers set to raise income through jackfruit seed powder unit
- A jackfruit seed processing unit will be set up in Paderu
- The seeds of the fruit will be powdered and marketed
- Millet sisters will get trained in a host of skills
Visakhapatnam: In an endeavour to make use of the crop grown extensively in Agency areas to an optimum extent and enhance the livelihood of the farmers, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) is setting up a jackfruit seed powder processing unit at Paderu.
As a part of the first phase of the entrepreneurship development project, KVK, a Farm Science Centre established by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, will train an army of 10 millet sisters in multiple skills in the first phase, including deseeding, peeling, drying, powdering, grading and packing.
Initiated in collaboration with the National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insect Resources, Bengaluru, the technological know-how will be facilitated by the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR). Soon, FPO members will receive hands-on training in processing the edible powder.
With a capacity of processing a quintal of jackfruit seeds a day, the unit will be set up for the women farmers at a cost of Rs.10 lakh at Santhabayalu village of Paderu mandal. Support is sought from 'Susag Chirudhanyala Chellela Sangham' associated with Sarada Valley Development Samithi in shortlisting the candidates for the training programme. "Work is going to be divided and shared among the team members, taking turns. For instance, if one takes up a peeling task, another will focus on the drying process. Likewise, grading and packing will be distributed," explains Tuburu Shanti Kumari, CEO of the sangham.
Given the health benefits of the nutrition-loaded seeds, the idea, the KVK officials say, is to make optimum use of the crop grown in the region. "Lakhs of jackfruits are grown in Agency areas. After consuming the fruits, seeds are often discarded. As they are beneficial to health in more ways than one and have a huge demand in the market, we are trying to tap the potential by creating a platform for the farmers to enhance their livelihood," explains N Raja Kumar, KVK programme coordinator.
To make their job easier, a solar-poly tunnel drier will be facilitated for the 10-member-team. Talks with Reliance Foundation are in progress to put up the products at the stores. "With the demand for the jackfruit seeds powder increasing, efforts are on to market the products through e-commerce platforms as well," adds Raja Kumar.
Along with the powder, value additions such as bread, bun, rusk, chocolates and cookies made of jackfruit seed powder are getting ready to add to the catalogue.