A common facility for processing millets, established at a cost of Rs 5 lakh, was inaugurated at Sivarakottai on Sunday.
Tirumangalam MLA M. Muthuramalingam and Agriculture Director M. Rajendran dedicated the facility, comprising de-huller and de-stoner units, to farmers who have been encouraged to raise millets under a promotion programme.
The common facility has been established as farmers get higher returns by selling processed grains.
A total of 300 acres of land in Sivarakottai, Karisalkalanpatti, Sengapadai, Myittanpatti and Vellakulam have been brought under ‘varagu’ and ‘kuthiraivaali’ cultivation under the State-Balanced Growth Fund scheme.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Muthramalingam said people of older generations were hale and healthy as a large part of their diet comprised millets. Now, people were suffering from diabetes and hypertension ever since they took to eating ‘rice.’ The millets, while giving better returns to the farmers, ensured a disease-free life to those who consumed them, he added. Mr. Rajendran said since millets had medicinal properties, tribal people who still ate them, had a healthy body and better eyesight. He said 150 more millet processing machines would be given across Tamil Nadu.
Joint Director A. Jayasingh Gnanadurai said a rice mill owner, who was bedridden due to diabetes, had become active after he switched over to eating millets. A farmer’s outlet to sell processed millets would be set up along the highway, he said.
Assistant Director G.Sv. Amuthan said the machines could process 100 kg of millets in an hour. Several farmer groups had been formed to run the unit. “Any farmer can make use of them for processing millets at a nominal cost,” he said.Special Correspondent