First Millets Processing Unit under Odisha Millet Mission – Inaugurated in Keonjhar District, Odisha:
The Special Programme for Promotion of Millets in Tribal Areas of Odisha (Odisha Millet Mission) was launched by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment, Government of Odisha in 2017 to revive millets in farms and on plates. It was the first agriculture program with a priority on increasing millet consumption in Odisha.
Odisha Millet Mission was initiated in Keojhar District from Kharif 2019. This five-year project is funded by the District Mineral Foundation of Keonjhar covering 7 blocks in this district (Banspal, Champua, Joda, Jhumpura, Harichandanpur, Hatadihi, and Sadar)
One of the main objectives was developing millet enterprises and establishing market linkages to rural/urban markets with a focus on women entrepreneurs through FPOs and SHGs. The first Millets Processing Unit Inauguration in Keojhar District of Odisha has shown a way forward. It was inaugurated by the Collector and District Magistrate of Keonjhar.
Millets Processing Unit:
The first Millets Processing Unit is now fully functional and ready to supply clean Ragi for different flagship programs of the District Administration. It is a joint venture of Odisha Millet Mission and Mission Shakti.
- This Unit is being managed by Krishna Self Help Group of Sadar Block and supported by Mission Shakti.
- The Unit has the capacity of cleaning about 2 quintals of Millets per hour and can clean over 500 quintals in a month.
- This Unit has been established to ensure the supply of clean Ragi for the flagship ICDS Ragi Laddu Programme.
- The Unit has been provided under the Odisha Millet Mission, supported by the District Mineral Foundation.
- Technical support is being provided by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment and WASSAN.
Machines Installed in the Millets Processing Unit:
Cleaner-cum-Aspirator with Grader and Integrated Destoner.Make of the model by INDOSAW (Osaw Industrial Products Ltd, Ambala)
- Capacity up to 250kg/hr
- The heavy structure makes the machine sturdy and more stable. Deck mounted on foundation frame for the stability of the machine.
- Feeding system provided with a feed hopper, a regulator for the inflow of grains across the entire width of the deck.
- Fitted with a five-stage cleaning facility.
- 2 HP motor of reputed make to run on 415V, 50 HZ, 3 Phase AC Supply.
- A vibratory system with aspiration and size grading system to separate the finer impurities.
- Vibratory deck with well balanced built-in fan for air volume adjustment for accurate final separation of grains by the counter current.
- Vacuum type dust collector with variable sludge gate and dust trapper.
- Separate collection bins for different outputs.
- One set of 2 removable screens.
Related Post: Millets Processing Machines
In this Unit, a dehuller is also installed to remove the husk. First of all, the ragi grains are put into the dehuller and next to the Cleaner-cum-Aspirator with Grader and Integrated Destoner. The grader is used for separating inert materials like big stones, sticks, sand, grass, etc. from the grains. These are separated by sieves of different sizes. The top sieve helps in separating the big sticks, stones, and grasses, the middle one separates the good quality grains, and the bottom separates the fine and coarse sand particles.
The aspirator has a small fan that sends the dust and light particles to the rear end.
The Destoner helps in removing the small stones and mud balls which are identical to the size of the grains. Destoner works based upon gravitational principles.
Contribution of Funds:
The total cost of the Millets Processing Unit is about 5.2 lakhs. 2.2 lakhs is the cost of the Cleaner-cum-Aspirator with Grader and Integrated Destoner and about 3 lakhs is the contribution of Self Help Group towards the construction of Hall, Godown, Electricity and Huller Machine(for removing the outer husk from the Ragi grains).
No doubt, Millets processing is a tedious job and involves lots of drudgeries. But processing machines make the work easier with less effort. Previously, the women farmers were using hand pounding tools to remove the husk and then the bamboo hand winnower to separate the dust, stones, and other impurities. For Ragi, they use to wash with water. The entire process is time-consuming.
I hope this Millets Processing Unit will help the women in getting a clean and nice end product and ultimately the end consumer will be happy.
Author: Tapas Chandra Roy, A Certified Farm Advisor on Millets.