(13 January 2024) A new tripartite agreement between the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment (DA&FE), and the Department of Mission Shakti aims to support women self-help groups (SHGs) to gain skills in managing small-scale enterprises for value-added rice products.
Under the agreement, signed during the 2024 Krushi Odisha in Bhubaneswar, IRRI will support the government agencies in promoting premium quality rice with nutritional benefits and ready-to-cook and eat products from broken rice and bran.
The IRRI-led project, in collaboration with the Odisha Millets Mission, will establish a pilot plant facility and train women SHGs and farmer-producer organizations on rice and millet value addition and entrepreneurship. DA&FE initiated the Odisha Millet Mission to boost millet production to create new income avenues for farmers.
Although rice bran is used mainly as cattle feed and fuel in India, a study conducted by Sheffield Hallam University showed that 7.7 million tons of nutritious food could be produced from rice bran.
Additionally, the market demand for rice bran derivatives in food and beverage applications as healthy alternatives is increasing providing small and medium enterprises in Odisha with economic opportunities.