WHEN MAHESH Londhe decided to work in the field of millets, he had a fair idea about the challenges he would face. A year later, with his company Millets Now not only catering to the domestic but also to the international markets, Londhe feels the tip of the iceberg in the journey of millet is yet to be filled.
Millets Now, Londhe said, was a product of his exposure to the world of millets. An agriculture graduate, Londhe had worked with non-governmental sector as well as Indian Institute of Millets Research in Hyderabad. A year back, Londhe resigned from his job to pursue his dream of making millets more accessible and more in demand.
Known as superfood, millets over the years have lost out to wheat and rice in terms of consumption. Once part and parcel of the daily fare, millets since then have been relegated to the back burner.
With area under cultivation increasingly going down, availability of the raw material is also a problem now. With the present year being designated as the year of the millets, attention has once again turned towards this superfood which is rich in nutrients.
Londhe’s company, which is three years old, started diversifying and developing value-added products from millets. Till date, the company has developed over 100 products from nine millets with research and development in newer products still continuing.
Cookies, noodles, vermicelli, laddoos are some of the products which the company has developed. The processing plant of the company requires nearly 500 kg of millets per day and for the last financial year had posted a turnover of Rs 55 lakh.
While the central and state governments have turned their focus on millets, basic flaws still remain in the whole value chain of the millets. The most important flaw, which Londhe said needs to be addressed, is the availability of raw material.