|A millet processing unit provided under the Comprehensive Revival of Millets Programme of the Department of Agriculture was commissioned at Pedalabudu in Araku mandal on Wednesday.|
Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) Project Director Appala Swamy handed over the unit to B. Satyanarayana. He is one of the 25 entrepreneurs identified by the Agriculture Department in six districts for processing units under the programme.
Though the annual millet production in the Agency area was 2000 tonnes, due to lack of processing facilities farmers were selling away the produce which was nutritionally superior to rice, the PD said. The processing units are aimed at improving consumption by girijans. Two units have already been established at Araku Valley and Veeraghattam mandals of Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts under the programme.
According to L. Sanyasi Rao, Programme Manager of Watershed Support Services and Activities Network (WASSAN), the selected entrepreneurs had to contribute ₹1 lakh to get the machines worth ₹ 4 lakh, with the support of the Agriculture Department.
The machines have been tested by a technical committee comprising mechanical engineers, entrepreneurs and research scientists and AP AGROS. A three-day induction programme for entrepreneurs conducted by WASSAN at Araku Valley concluded on Wednesday.
Its technical officer Srinivas, Director of NATURE, an NGO, Balaraju, mandal vice-president P. Ammanna, sarpanches Laksmi and Kamala Gannela and SHG members participated.