Bengaluru: DFRL tech boost for farmers in distress

The idea is the brainchild of Mysuru-Kodagu MP Mr Pratap Simha with defence minister Parikkar giving his nod to it during his recent visit.

Mysuru: In the wake of increasing farmer suicides, Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) based in Mysuru, is developing a pilot project to take technology to farmers to strengthen them economically. This idea is the brainchild of Mysuru-Kodagu MP Mr Pratap Simha with defence minister Mr Manohar Parikkar giving his nod to it during his recent visit.

To begin with, DFRL will be adopting two villages in Mysuru district, DFRL Director, Dr R.K. Sharma told Deccan Chronicle. He said the 55-year-old DFRL which has developed over 467 technologies, besides supplying 3.5 lakh ton nutritious food per year to soldiers who serve in extreme weather conditions, is already in the public domain. It has shared its technologies with 680 noted companies including MTR, Maiyyas, Haldirams and others.

“Our officers will visit the villages, identify local crops and local demands by talking to farmers. We will customize our technologies and help them to conserve vegetables and fruits upto a period of four weeks in case the rates drop, until they get a good price. Or we will help them to come up with processed food products which will have a shelf life of upto one year. We have technologies like Shellac coating for preservation of fruits and vegetables. They can be eaten after washing. All these can happen at very minimal cost, there will not be any compromise with nutrition or quality. We even have technology to process tender coconuts. A few companies especially in areas like Maddur, which has large coconut plantations are in talks with us. We will introduce that technology to these farmers too,” Dr Sharma said.

Two officers of DFRL- Mr Kumar and Mr G.K. Sharma are working with Food Engineering Department Head, Dr S.L. Sabapatha, and Joint Director Dr A.D. Semwal in this regard. The project will take off in the next six months. “If the state wants to extend it to all villages, we can tie up with NGOs or self help groups to implement the project,” DFRL Director, R K Sharma told Deccan Chronicle.

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DFRL Director, Dr R K Sharma said: “We have developed food to handle lifestyle diseases including diabetes. We have also developed some new technologies like a composite cereal bar, high energy bar, a performance enhancement drink for soldiers who work for long hours, and foods items including flax cookies, flax munch and others to bust stress and anxiety among soldiers working in extreme weather conditions. We even have technologies to seal the flavour until it enters the mouth to prevent enemies from getting the aroma, and better self-heating technologies to help soldiers at higher altitudes.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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