CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute identified one of the backward agrarian village (Puttegowdana Hundi) which is 20-25 km from Mysore city for intervening with S&T knowledge for empowering the village folks as part of the Rural Development Programme supported by CSIR-CFTRI along with AcSIR students. As their livelihood is fully dependent on agriculture, the impact of the agrarian crisis is severely felt in their overall development. The farmers grow tomato, mulberry etc., and the income is constrained by accessibility to urban centers and prevailing demand. After the initial interaction with farmers, Panchayat Members and the local Self Help Group (SHG), the following strategies were made.
CSIR-CFTRI has been popularizing super food crops such as Chia and Quinoa by supporting the farmers in terms of releasing the seed and training them on agronomical practices. We also got in touch with one of the companies to buy their crops at the end. Both Quinoa and Chia seeds were distributed to the selected farmers and interaction session was held.
We planned for establishing a papad manufacturing unit with the involvement of the local SHGs run by women folks. CSIR-CFTRI has already commercialized the papad making machinery. A leg operated papad making machine along with dough mixing unit was purchased. The papad press has a designed capacity of 300-350 papads per hour and works without electricity. Members of the SHGs will be trained on various aspects of production, packaging, labeling and marketing. The unit to be made operational soon.
The team visited the Anganwadi and found that there is no mechanism to ensure safe and hygienic way of providing drinking water. So under the Programme, 3 units of Water Filter Unit (Terafil) were bought in collaboration with CSIR-IMMT for deployment.
The Government higher primary school with around 150 students in the village had no access to IT related knowledge. The team interacted with teachers and understood the problems faced by children. Accordingly it was decided to donate two laptops and necessary training will be arranged to make them familiar with various educational tools.