Hyderabad: The ‘Smart Food’ initiative of Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT) has been selected as one of the winning innovations of 2017 by LAUNCH Food, a global competition where promising innovations are selected for mentorship and guidance from experts.
The Smart Food programme is aimed at popularising millets and sorghum, achieve impact globally by promoting its demand, strengthen the value chains and ensure that small farmers are benefited, a statement from ICRISAT on Thursday said.
Essentially, the Smart Food programme of ICRISAT aims to build food systems where the food is highly nutritious for consumers, good for the planet and good for farmer. The ICRISAT programme was selected out of 280 submissions from 74 countries, which had applied for the LAUNCH Food global competition.
A group of researchers from ICRISAT will attend the LAUNCH Food innovators meet to discuss their innovation with key industries and investors in March at San Francisco, United States.
“Millets, including sorghum, are the first Smart Food we are focusing on. They are highly nutritious, have a low water and carbon footprint, and have so many multiple uses that are yet untapped,” said Smart Food initiator and Director of Strategic Marketing and Communication, ICRISAT, Joanna Kane-Potaka.
According to the ICRISAT official, millets and sorghum have been traditional foods across India and many countries in Africa.
“Due to low investments, their value chains are significantly underdeveloped that makes it more difficult for farmers to invest. Over time they have become labelled as an old fashioned food. We plan to take a different approach and drive demand by first creating a new image and buzz around millets,” The ICRISAT official added.