MUMBAI, Dec 13: To revive indigenous varieties of millets in the country, technology company Lenovo has been providing digital and technical support at Kanthalloor in Kerala to grow six varieties of the cereal.
Under its Work for Humankind Initiative, Lenovo set up a digital centre at the Institute of Human Resources Development (IHRD) College for Applied Sciences, Kanthalloor, to provide access to technology tools to revive six millet varieties in Kerala that will help ease millet production processes and create market linkages, Lenovo Foundation head of Asia Pacific CSR and Philanthropy Pratima Harite told PTI.
In the first year of the project, which began in October, 25 farmers took part in the initiative to cultivate six varieties of millets in 15 acres of land, Harite said.
The six millet varieties are finger millet, barnyard millet, little millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, and kodo millet, some of which were still being grown for self consumption.
“The farmers were selected by the village panchayat. They began growing millets in half acre each, that was either vacant or vegetables were grown in them. Farmers have smartphones to access information and stay connected with the digital centre, volunteers, as well as the community,” she added.
Lenovo has partnered with Samudra Network and Agri App to digitise the agricultural value chain specific to millet farming in Kanthalloor, which included crop detail tracking, digitisation of processing operations for quality control, and market catalog creation.
“We have already harvested 1,750 kg millets and are expecting this to reach over 2,000 kg by March. Going forward, the goal is to increase millet cultivation in 50 acres in partnership with 50 farmers next year and also focus on increasing the yield further,” non-profit organisation Dream India Network CEO Dr Saju said.
Millet is part of Kanthalloor’s history, and people are glad that traditional farming practices have been revived with the help of modern technology, Kanthalloor Gram Panchayat President Kanth Mohandas said. (PTI)