Revalorising Small Millets in Rainfed Regions of South Asia (RESMISA) Project was implemented in the rainfed regions of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka for enhancing the status of small millets in mainstream diets, especially among rural women and children from 2011 to 2014. The project emphasized on gender sensitive participatory approaches, farmers’ knowledge systems and interdisciplinary research to address various issues affecting the supply and demand of small millets. It focused on various aspects of small millets including conservation, cultivation, processing, value addition, promotion and policy advocacy. It was implemented by DHAN Foundation and Canadian Mennonite University as lead partners along with LI-BIRD in Nepal and Arthacharya in Sri Lanka as Principal applicants. In India, DHAN Foundation collaborated with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), All India Co-ordinated Small Millet Improvement Project (AICSIMP) and WASSAN.
The project could bring out the following outputs:
Identified and conserved small millet varieties in the five locations.
Identified one to four additional suitable well performing varieties through Participatory Varietal Selection (PVS) in five locations.
Identified and disseminated improved site specific production practices to address location specific issues in five locations.
Community based seed production was initiated in five locations.
Several local varieties of small millets that were facing the threat of disappearance or discontinued from cultivation were revived in five project sites.
Brought out knowledge products on Community Biodiversity Management (CBM) and Sustainable Agricultural Practice (SAK).
Improvised harvester and thresher for small millets.
Developed three improved prototypes of dehullers and field tested them in many sites.
Conducted nutrition related studies on small millets for their nutritional values and consumption qualities and mapped the compositional and functional variability.
Standardized more than 40 traditional (E.g. Idli, Dosai and Murukku) and modern (Eg. Cookies, Soup sticks and Macaroni) small millet food products.
Developed more than 60 different types of promotional materials such as films, books, posters, exhibition kit, skit, songs and handbills to create awareness and promote consumption of small millets.
Reached around 134000 persons during the project period with the message on the health benefits of small millets, mainly women and children, through outreach campaigns conducted in the project villages, food festivals, walkathons and radio talks.
Initiated a marketing initiative on small millets, which made available 127 tonnes of hulled grains of various small millets to around 61000 consumers, including women SHG members and farmers at a price 30 to 60 % lower than the prevailing market prices.
Synthesized policy lessons from the project into three policy briefs and shared with the policy makers and wider audience through five policy consultation meetings.
Synthesized the results of the various research activities of the project into more than 32 peer reviewed papers, 56 invited presentations, 17 theses or major papers, 55 research reports and two outcome stories .