Telangana is leading the way in adding millets to the daily diets of target population groups, according to a report by NITI Aayog. The report highlights the good and innovative practices adopted by Telangana’s state government and organizations in various aspects of millet value-chain, including production, processing, and consumption. This initiative covers children aged between 3 and 6 years, their mothers, and community members, and is implemented by District Administration, Vikarabad and Adilabad with technical partner WASSAN. The introduction of millets in SNP has helped establish the market ecosystem, engagement with food cultures, and large-scale engagement with women on millet food.
The introduction of millets in ICDS has created a bulk demand by assuring procurement at scale and thereby stabilizing the market for millets. It has helped develop an ecosystem for millets by comprehensively focusing on production, trade, processing, and so on. The program could achieve a renewal in millet cultivation to the extent of 4,401 acres in the target districts. One SHG group in Kumaram Bheem Asifabad district has started processing and packaging millets under their own brand. Eight food processing units in ITDA areas managed by tribal women-led Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) have been set up, and 80 tribal women have turned into Nutrition Entrepreneurs.
The Giri Poshana initiative recorded a 16% decrease in wasting, 39% reduction in stunting, 37% in underweight, and 41% decrease in anemia among pregnant and lactating women. With the success of Phase 1 and Phase 2 interventions in improving dietary diversity and nutritional outcomes, TS Tribal Welfare department and ICRISAT now planned to scale up the intervention to cover additional populations. The aim is to provide nutritional support to 16,000 PVTG members in the ITDA areas of Utnoor, Bhadrachalam, and Mannanur.