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The Millet Man of Telangana : Biradhar Veer Shetty Patil

Man’s basic needs include food, shelter, and clothing. We cannot imagine a place where the majority of the population is starving. Certain events or tragedies can have an impact on our lives.

Biradhar Veer Shetty Patil, a resident of Gangapur village in Telangana’s Sangareddy district, once experienced hunger while travelling to Beed, a place in Maharashtra. He received nothing to satisfy his hunger. So he thought about the people who lived there. However, his need led to the discovery of a  new idea that benefits the entire population. Veer Shetty decided to do something.  He wanted to produce food for future generations after returning from Maharashtra.

The Millet Man of Telangana

Decision To Become A Farmer

He was inspired by his own experiences and the thoughts of the people of Beed. Veer wished those future generations would not have to deal with such a situation. As a result, he turned to agriculture.

Choosing Millet As His Prime Crop

Veer Shetty chose millet as his primary crop because he is from Sangareddy, a district rich in millet. He considers millets beneficial because they are high in nutritional value, reduces the risk for farmers in adverse weather conditions caused by climate change, and are better for the environment because they require less water and very few external inputs.

Knowledge On Farming

Veer hails from a farming family, which aided him in his initiative. He also benefited from his work as an assistant to Dr C H Ravindra Reddy, the principal scientist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

He was inspired by his own experiences

S S Bhawani Foods

Veer then gradually opened a small shop, selling millet roti, peanut chutney, and other healthy foods. People initially rejected his shop as they were unaware of the benefits of millet-enriched foods. He also educates people about the nutritional benefits of millet by displaying posters on the walls. The number of customers grew over time.

He farmed more than 13 acres of dry land and 5 acres of irrigated land. Sugarcane, chickpea, red gramme, jowar, bajra, foxtail millet, and finger millet are his primary cultivation. Veer also established a millet value-added centre. In seven years, his firm had developed 60 value-added millet products from sorghum, bajra, foxtail and finger millet.

Biradhar Veer Shetty Patil Alias The Millet Man of Telangana

Biradhar Veer Shetty Patil became the Millet Man of Telangana now. He went from being a driver to becoming an entrepreneur, opening his food processing plant and producing millet-based ready-to-eat food.

Roti-Making Machine

Shetty created a roti-making machine that can produce 500 rotis per hour. Through his outlet, he sells between 2,000 and 3,000 rotis per day. He exports items such as dry rotis with a shelf life of 6 months from this outlet.

He inspires farmers to grow millets

Swayam Shakthi Agri Foundation

In 2016, Veer Shetty found the Swayam Shakthi Agri Foundation. Through this, he provides inputs to farmers, trains them on cultivation practices to increase yields, and buys back the produce at a premium price. It also collaborates with the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), which trained 500 tribal farmers in the Koraput district on how to make various millet products and other aspects of farming.

Shetty also works on another project with the Indian Institute of Millets Research. That is, to work with 1,000 farmers in 8 villages of Sangareddy district, Telangana, and provide them with quality seeds. They also give them seasonal advice on what crops to plant.

His Aim

He hopes to reach out to consumers all over the world who are looking for a healthier way of life and, as a result, benefit his farmer friends.

The Journey To a Successful Entrepreneur

Veer Shetty initiated with SS Bhawani Foods, a shop-cum-restaurant in Hyderabad, and 15 years later, he has multiple shops across India, including Delhi and Hyderabad. His factory is located in his hometown of Chandanagar, Hyderabad, and it produces over 25 millet products such as kadak bhakri, chivda, laddu, millet Rava, and millet atta. He has also launched Millovit Health Mix, which claims to boost immunity and protect against Covid-19 infection. He was currently running a company with an annual revenue of Rs 1 crore.

Veer Shetty receives Best Millet Misharayya Award

Respect from the society 

Veer has also received numerous awards, including ‘The Millet Man of Telangana,’ ‘The best Farmer Award,’ ‘Dr M.V. Rao Memorial Award,’ and ‘Best Millet Misharayya Award’ from the Indian Institute of Millet Research (IIMR) Hyderabad in the 2017, and so on.

Shetty comes from a middle-class family and is the eldest of three brothers. After finishing Class X, he had to start working for the family. He began his career as a driver and, later joined as Dr C.H. Ravindra Reddy’s assistant. While working, veer completed his education through distance learning at Telangana’s Dr B.R. Ambedkar Open University. When he passed through the Beed district of Maharastra, his focus shifted. His hunger made him reflect on the plight of the people who lived there. He decided to return home and farm. He chose healthy millet cultivation for this. Set up a store gradually. The villagers mocked him at first, but they gradually accepted. His initiative grew, and he now manages a one-crore business. Veer had many dreams that he hoped to fulfil soon. His hard work, desire for a healthy generation and concern for his fellow farmers earned him the title of Telangana’s Millet Man.

Credits and References