Farmer controlled value chain for millets

MSSRF is promoting millets cultivation in Kolli Hills in Tamil Nadu and Koraput in Odisha since 1997. The activities involve a holistic value chain approach addressing highly interconnected aspects of conservation, cultivation, consumption and marketing of local produce. About 2300 families (about 1500 in Kolli Hills and about 800 families in Jeypore) of tribal farmers have been involved in millet cultivation through a network of 15 village seed banks functioning across 7 Panchayats. A number of innovative interventions have been adopted by the tribal farmers to revitalize the millet cultivation that include scouting of local growers, assessment of traditional knowledge, collection, characterization and evaluation of landraces, multiplication of high quality seeds, revitalization of seed storage and exchange systems through community seed banks, dissemination of best cultivation practices (including intercropping millets with Cassava), provision of low cost processing machines accessible to communities, enhancing capacities of communities in value addition, developing new products and brands owned by communities, strengthening community-based institutions and effectively linking local production to peri-urban and local markets.
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