Scaling up the reach of appropriate scale small millets processing equipment
The major problems with the processing of small millets- Little, Foxtail, Kodo, Barnyard and Proso millets- are difficulty in removing extraneous matter, heterogeneous quality of grains, lower head rice recovery and difficulty in separating hulled and un-hulled grains. The earlier projects developed and tested two prototypes of de-hullers (1 centrifugal and 1 rubber roller types) to address these issues. The machines developed increased hulling efficiency, and reduced broken percentage and bran loss. They reduced the drudgery of women in the small millets production regions significantly by reducing the time involved in de-hulling (by 70 %) & in separating the hulled grains from the un-hulled ones. Unlike the large scale mills in operation, the prototypes resulted in more nutritious small millet rice and grits through better retention of bran which has more fibre and micronutrients. The current project will fine tune the small millet processing equipment to suit varying requirements. Business development support will be offered to processing equipment fabricators to scale up their operations across India. The project will attempt to put in place a manufacturing structure that offers appropriate scale processing equipment to meet the requirements at the village, micro enterprise and SME levels across India.