Mysuru, January 29:- CSIR-CFTRI (Central Food Technological Research Institute) and GRAAM (Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on August 20 to provide a mutual technical – social collaboration for establishing rural livelihood initiatives in India. As part of the MoU CFTRI will extend the technology transfer of two products – convenience flour suitable for stiff porridge (ragi mudde mix) and malted weaning food (ragi shishuposhan) through technical training for women entrepreneurs of Bilikere women collective Asare Sanjeevini Food Products.
A week long training was conducted by Dr Usha Dharmaraj and her team from CFTRI, who have expertise in the processing of millets and pseudo cereals, weaning food, etc. About 14 women from Bilikere women collective – Asare Sanjeevini Food Products attended the training programme from January 18 to 23 and learnt the process involved in preparing the above two products for their social business initiative at Bilikere. The training programme was held at CFTRI.
Upon successful completion of the week long hands-on training programme, the valedictory and a certificate distribution programme was held on January 23 at CFTRI.
The executive director of GRAAM Dr Basavaraju R Shreshta, director of CFTRI Dr Sridevi Annapurna Singh, head of TTBD at CFTRI Dr Rajeshwar Matche, Dr Usha Dharmaraj and Dr Satyendra Rao from CFTRI and the staff of CFTRI and GRAAM were present. Susheela, project director, Zilla Panchayat, Mysuru and Girish, EO, Taluk Panchayatm Hunsur and NRLM field staff also attended the programme. All the aspiring women entrepreneurs of Asare Sanjeevini Food Products participated in the programme.
Director of CFTRI Dr Sridevi Annapurna Singh expressed that empowering women will empower the family and thereby empower the nation. She appreciated the efforts of GRAAM and said that CFTRI will always be open to extending any technical support in making the initiative a successful one. She congratulated all the women and wished all the success to the aspiring women entrepreneurs.
Addressing the participants, Dr Basavaraju thanked CFTRI for joining hands with GRAAM in its social initiative and agreeing to extend its support in such future initiatives. He explained about the uniqueness of this initiative and its convergence with the national interest like Atmanirbhar Bharat and women empowerment. He said that GRAAM is working with all the four pillars of development such as the community, the government, the corporate and the civil society organisation. ‘The government needs to seriously think beyond livelihood and focus on rural wealth creation. We need to work on creating a benefit economy than profit maximisation’ he opined.
Dr Rajeshwar Matche who welcomed the participants and guests mentioned that the social initiative taken by GRAAM is very unique and is result-oriented which made them join hands with GRAAM. Dr Usha Dharmaraj compered the pragramme.
About the initiative: GRAAM having rich expertise in developing livelihood models for rural communities based on rural wealth creation principles will handhold the women entrepreneurs with necessary capacity building, training, mobilising and motivating them to find a sustainable livelihood. GRAAM also intends to develop a brand for products produced by women entrepreneurs. The project aims at developing a resurgent economy in rural India by adding value to the local agricultural products. Such a programme is expected to benefit the entrepreneurs as well as farmers in rural areas.
GRAAM will establish a millet-based value-added product manufacturing unit and will handhold the women entrepreneurs to streamline the business functions in a sustainable manner. The project is being supported by the Wuerth Elektroniks, a 75-year-old multinational company which is a world market leader in the sale of assembly and fastening materials. Wuerth Elektroniks India Pvt Ltd is supporting this initiative under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. (MR)