An exposure visit was organized by scientists of ARS, Tornala with financial support under ATMA, for 22 millet growing farmers of Siddipet district,on 27-04-2019 to Millet Processing and Incubation centre, Post Graduate Research Centre, PJTSAU and Nutri Cereals Innovation Centre and Processing unit, ICAR-Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), Rajendranagar, Hyderabad. The exposure visit was co-ordinated by Dr. A.V. Ramanjaneyulu, Sr. Scientist (Agro) & Head and Dr. N. Sainath, Scientist (SSAC), ARS, Tornala. Dr. P. Jagan Mohan Rao, ADR, CTZ, RARS, Warangal also joined the programme in the afternoon.
First, Dr. T. Hymavathi, Principal Scientist and Ms. Pradeepa, PGRC, Hyderabad have explained in detail to the farmers about types and nutritional importance of millets in human diet, avenues for their popularization, facilities which can be provided for processing of millet seeds of farmers on payment basis, were also explained. Dr. C.V. Sameer Kumar, PS (Millets), PJTSAU gave an overview of millets grown in India and Telangana besides market price and market facilities. Later, the staff of millet processing unit have practically shown the visiting farmers, the machinery used for primary (destoning, grading and dehulling) and secondary processing (production of rawa, flour and value added products like biscuits, cookies, cakes etc.,) of millets.Farmers also tasted the byproducts produced by the centre.
Later, farmers were taken to Nutri Cereals Innovation Centre located in ICAR-IIMR, Rajendranagar, where Dr. V. Ravi Kumar and Dr. S. Ravi Kumar, ICAR-IIMR have interacted with the farmers regarding buy back of millets, sale of seeds for sowing, possibilities for establishing mini processing units through FPOs from NABARD with technical guidance from PJTSAU or IIMR. Farmers enquired with the scientists about mechanization of millet production starting from sowing to threshing on the lines of rice, so that, the area under millets will increase rapidly.
Finally, Dr. V. Vasudeva Rao, Principal Scientist, AINP on Vertebrate Pest Management, PJTSAU has demonstrated the use of monkey and bird scarer gun and acoustic equipment used for the control of wild boar, which are a menace in many field crops. Various farm machinery starting from primary and secondary tillage, puddling, sowing, fertilizer application, stem application, inter cultivation, harvesting and threshing in different crops were shown and explained to the farmers by Er. Sudhakar Reddy, Research Associates Mr. B. Lakshman and Ms. B. Vennela at AICRP on Farm Implements and Machinery, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad. The financial support given for the exposure visit by the Project Director Mr. P. Shravan Kumar under ATMA, Siddipet district is gratefully acknowledged.