Hemlata’s Inspiring Journey To Launch A Millet Bakery In Chhattisgarh Under Startup India
Hemlata from Chhattisgarh established a startup based on Millets
Before knowing about Hemlata and Hemlata’s startup, let’s know something about Millets. There was a time when certain grains could be grown easily in any environment in every state of India. Neither do they need much water nor are they affected by cold or sunlight.
Year 2023 – International Year of Millets
This grain, which can be easily grown anywhere, was the main diet of the country’s large population. Not only was it easy to plant, it also did not require maintenance or pesticides. Due to its affordability, these grains became a staple on every household’s dining table. These grains were millets, which are today called superfoods. To bring this superfood to the plate of every home again, the government has declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
Which grains are included in Millets?
In the 60s, when the country faced a shortage of grains, the Green Revolution started, where wheat and paddy crops began growing in the fields of almost all the farmers. Millets remained limited to small farmers or some states only. One such state is Chhattisgarh, where the importance of Millets was seen from the beginning. Ragi, Kodo, Kutki, Sawna are found in almost all the houses, and in these houses, dishes like Cheela, Murku, Roti, etc. are made from them.
Millet Bakery is a healthy substitute for fast food
Healthy substitutes for fast food are not easily available in the market, or the alternatives available are too heavy on the common man’s pocket. The work of filling this significant gap in the market was done by Hemlata Deshmukh, who is running a millet bakery in the steel city Bhilai of Durg district and providing people millet options for fast food.
Millet Bakery started
Hemlata’s Millet Bakery was started in 2023, but she started her research in 2014 during her B.Tech agriculture studies. Hemlata also chose Millet as the subject of her thesis.
Hemlata says that the history of Millet in the country is about 5000 years old. During research, it was found that it has been described in Yajurveda. I got information about millet products in MBA Agriculture, and from there, I understood that the market for millet products in Chhattisgarh is quite significant. To fill this gap of healthy substitutes in the market, Hemlata adopted the startup path.
How to start millet related business?
For Millet Bakery, Hemlata used the Startup India initiative of the Government of India as a medium. In 2018, Millet Bakery’s idea was submitted to the National Agricultural Development Scheme (RKVY) of the Agriculture Department under Startup India. After the concept was selected by RKVY, Hemlata was given training in millets, millets products, machinery for bakery, and its operation in several phases by Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur.
Any young entrepreneur who wants to work on a business model related to agriculture can take advantage of this scheme. More information about RKVY can be obtained by visiting rkvy.nic.in
Benefits from the scheme regarding millet business
On becoming the beneficiary of the scheme, Hemlata received Rs 5 lakh in 2 phases.. This fund was received for machinery. Infrastructure costs are not included in this. If we talk about the total cost, the bakery was set up for 8 lakh rupees.
Machines required for Millet Bakery
- Planetary mixer
- Pulverizer flour mill
- Measuring machine
- Packaging and Sealing Machine
According to the production of the product, different sizes of these machines are easily available in the market. Through these machines Hemlata produces the following millet products:
Eggless Millet Cake and Cup Cakes
- Ragi Cake and Cups
- Kodo Cakes and Cups
- Sorghum Cakes and Cups
- Multi Millet Cake and Cups
Eggless Millet Cookies
- Ragi Vanilla and Chocolate Cookies
- Jowar Cardamom Cookies
- Kodo Cumin Celery Cookies
- Millet Pizza
- Ragi Malt Powder (Cardamom + Chocolate)
- Ragi Vanilla Cake Premix
- Ragi Chocolate Cake Premix
- Ragi Chilla Premix
- Ragi Appe Premix
- Sava Fruity Muruku
- Kodo Muruku
Benefits of processing millet
Hemlata told that these products are also good because many companies selling millet products use flour for binding, but Hemlata continuously experimented for many years and created such products which have zero flour. Not only this, the shelf life of these products is also good. The biggest problem with millet products is their shelf life, because these products get spoiled quickly.
Apart from this, Hemlata is working only on premix of millet bread, bun, millet dosa and idli without preservatives.
What are the benefits of eating millets?
She is also supplying her millet products to some dieticians of Durg, Bhilai. One of her customers is a diabetic patient, who is now using products made from ragi roti, cheela and sava.
Profit in processing millets
Hemlata told that there was a lot of trouble in the initial days of the startup. Whatever the cost was, it was difficult to cover it. Millet production has just started on a large scale in Chhattisgarh. Before this there was no commercial production. Because of this, the price of raw material was very high. Apart from this, making people aware was also a big challenge in itself. Now the situation has changed and they are getting about 40 percent profit on their products.
Encouragement to millet cultivation
As a result of encouragement to the cultivation of millet by the state government, the inclination of farmers is increasing rapidly towards the cultivation of Kodo, Kutki and Ragi. To promote millets production in the state, it has also been included in Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana. Under this, to encourage farmers producing millets, input assistance of Rs 9,000 per acre is also being given.
Support price of millets
The minimum support price (MSP) of Kodo-Kutki has been fixed at Rs 3,000 per quintal and that of Ragi at Rs 3,377 per quintal by the state government. In the last season, farmers had sold 34 thousand 298 quintals of millets at the support price for Rs 10 crore 45 lakh.
State Received national award for millets production
Under the Millet Mission, a tripartite agreement has been signed with IIMR Hyderabad for 14 districts with the efforts of Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce Association for promotion of millet cultivation in Chhattisgarh, training to farmers, availability of high quality seeds and increase in productivity. The idea behind this is to double the productivity of millet. Due to promoting the cultivation of millets, Chhattisgarh state has also received the National Level Nutritious Grain Award 2022.
What is Millet Cafe?
With the aim of making millet products made by self-help groups available to the general public and making people aware about millet, millet cafes have been opened in many districts of the state.
Millet Carnival organized
For wide publicity of millet in the state, Millet Carnival was organized which witnessed interest from a large number of people.
Marketing is important in millets
Hemlata says that marketing of millet products is important. It is important to form an organization of people producing millet products so that we can directly connect with the government. He says that if the people working at the grassroots level are directly connected with the government, then everyone associated with the millets will benefit from it.
Contact us – If farmers want to share any valuable information or experiences related to farming, they can connect with us via phone or whatsapp at 9599273766 or you can write to us at “[email protected]”. Through Kisan of India, we will convey your message to the people, because we believe that if the farmers are advanced then the country is happy.