CGIAR Gender News

Harvesting Hope: Empowering Tribal Women as Millet Entrepreneurs

Woman entrepreneur weighing millet in South India
Woman entrepreneur weighing millet in South India

In South India, a group of tribal women are leading a movement towards healthier community diets. By processing millets and marketing nutritious products, these women are creating a ripple effect in their communities.

When K Ramamma, who had never travelled far from her tribal hamlet, boarded a plane for the first time to represent women entrepreneurs from her community at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Assam, it was a big leap not just for her but her entire tribe.

Her journey began in September 2019 when she took the bus from her village in Bhadrachalam to attend a training program at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad.

Despite her basic education, Ramamma persevered through the challenges of the training at ICRISAT.

"I learned about dietary diversity, how recipes are formulated for better nutrition and also about quality control, food safety, book-keeping, business planning and how to market what I make," says Ramamma.