Thursday, 16 May, 6.40 pm Connect Gujarat

Project Paripurna: A community owned initiative for food and nutrition security in tribal area

Comes up with innovative product De India Express Instant Khichdi

In today’s fast paced life everyone needs a quick solution to move smoothly in their daily routines. From smart home systems to food people wants an instant result at once to utilize the time.

With an aim to provide a instant and nutritious solution to people Deepak Foundation launched an innovative product De India Express Instant Khichdi supported by Deepak Nitrate. The product is a community owned initiative for food and nutrition security in tribal area and gives them a source of employment.

Tribal farmers often find it difficult depending upon agriculture as a sustainable livelihood as costly agriculture inputs, dearth of transport, storage and processing facility leads them into vicious cycle of poverty, drudgery, and poor nourishment. Moreover, tribal women's engagement into agriculture is unpaid labour, without landrights and scope of engaging into business enterprise.

With a need to engage them collectively into business model to improve livelihood and food security Deepak Foundation had implementing Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana covering 6000 tribal women farmers in Kawant and Naswadi blocks of Chhota Udepur district of Gujarat. After training them in sustainable agriculture techniques 300 women's Farmers Producer Groups formed under this project were collectivized into two Farmer Producer Companies.

With the objective of creating value addition systems through food processing for these women, the Foundation conceptualized the innovative product. The business model is FPG operated processing units to prepare a culturally acceptable "Instant Khichdi Mix" using locally grown pulses, rice and vegetable enriched with spices and mineral mix as a nutritious meal supplement. It creates livelihood opportunity for nearly 3000 women farmers within a period of coming two years.

“Pre-mix khichdi will help overcome under nutrition in entire family and reduce drudgery and save fuel. The mix is prepared and packed at the plant at Naswadi keeping the equal Dal Rice proportion and protein content intact. The plant is run by the group of trained local females and 1000 of them are stakeholders in the company. The aim is to provide nutritious food to the tribal people and make it cost effective to easily afford by everyone,” said Archana Joshi Director Deepak Foundation.

The pre mix "de India Express" Instant Khichdi is ready to be launched in the market and the target areas are hostels, mini bars, flights, gyms, supermarkets and many others. They are also in talks with IRCTC to include it in their menu. It could also supply as mid-day meals in school and pre-school and PDS shops.

The concept won the prestigious Millennium Alliance Round IV innovation award and a grant for product development. A. D. Patel Institute of Technology, Anand was roped in to develop the product, and M. S. University of Baroda's Foods & Nutrition department help for sensory evaluation and nutrition assessment.

“Deepak Group of Industries set the first plant at Naswadi and in future targeting Kawant, Pavi Jetpur and Sankheda. The biggest challenge is to make it cost effective and reach every household in villages as well as cities. The product is high rich in protein, low fat and suitable for infant to the elderly in families. One can use vegetables and other things to change the taste as per their requirement. In future we will plan to make Kasuri Methi and instant rice in the facility,” says Joshi.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Dailyhunt. Publisher: Connect Gujarat English