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How IIT-K helps the 'laddoo' business grow

IANS | March 09, 2023 04:32 PM

KANPUR: The Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur is now making its presence felt in the dessert business by giving a healthy twist to our quintessential sweet -- laddoos.

These organic laddoos are being prepared by 150 farmer families and are now sold in 22 cities -- including Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Indore, and others.

IIT-K is involved in quality control, packaging, and distribution of these laddoos.

Besides the sweet, the premier institute also helps the farmer families sell nutritious 'hareera' (a nourishing beverage) in different states under its "Unnati" project.

Rita Singh, a convener of this project, said, "The delicacies first became popular among the students in the institute. As the demand grew, we started selling laddoos -- made from alsi (flax seeds), til (white and black sesame seeds), and gond (edible gum) -- in several cities. Now, we are seeking the help of our former students who have settled abroad to expand the business in overseas markets."

The Unnati project was launched eight years ago in five villages of Kanpur's Bithoor region to encourage scientific agriculture and impart quality education to village children through smart classes.

In the last one year, some 150 farmer families from 10 nearby districts have joined the initiative.

Scientists of institute have also been promoting organic farming and creating awareness among the farmers.

"Our idea was to teach the farmers about natural farming, small processors, buyers, and technology. Of course, we want to preserve our traditional recipes as well, " said Rita.

The institute has big plans for the organic produce business to provide the farmers with maximum possible benefits.

IIT-K is also leveraging the blockchain technology to help the business flourish.

"With the help of the blockchain technology, buyers will get to see the field or house where the food product was prepared. We started with selling organic products through WhatsApp but are moving to the next level. The entire process is being streamlined. Our products will be available under brand name Unnati. This will help the farmers immensely, " Rita said.

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