Superfood, Superheroes, Supertech: Lenovo's Smarter Technology is Empowering Kanthalloor’s Millet Farmers

The superfood, millet, is making a comeback in Kanthalloor, Kerala after decades. Thanks to the efforts of a group of driven volunteering heroes, community partners and Lenovo’s Smarter technology.

Our innovative technology ecosystem is being used to bring back indigenous millet cultivation and help out the local farmers in this region. We’re giving them digital access to key resources, like tips on the best farming methods and important information on getting agricultural and financial support. This project is about empowering them to revive millet cultivation in the region by making sure they have what they need to succeed.

Kanthalloor was once a rare fertile ground for many varieties of millet in South India, millet cultivation had dwindled to only a small forest-dwelling tribal community growing millet for sustenance. Now, these ancient grains can provide sustainable solutions to modern issues like food security, malnutrition, and climate change. With the national push for millet cultivation following the UN’s declaration of the International Year of the Millet 2023, this superfood can uplift Kanthalloor’s farmers and create equal opportunities to make a living.

Lenovo’s Work For Humankind project is powered by Lenovo employee-volunteers and student volunteers who are seeding positive change in an underserved community by working on the field and helping these rural millet farmers thrive, while also working remotely on their regular day-jobs. Of course, with stunning views of lush-green mountains and sparkling streams, no one is complaining!


lives impacted


households surveyed


Lenovo volunteers


student volunteers

Reviving Indigenous Millet Cultivation

Did you know that the UN declared 2023 as the International Year of the Millet? It has sparked a lot of interest in millet value chains worldwide. However, there are still some regions, like Kanthalloor, that haven’t been able to tap into these benefits. Kanthalloor is a beautiful place nestled in the misty Western Ghats mountains and lush forests. In the past, it was famous for cultivating over 18 different types of millet. Unfortunately, over time, that number dwindled to just 2 varieties.

Lenovo’s technology ecosystem is bringing back millet cultivation in an exciting way! We’re powering up local farmers with new-age tech solutions that help them tap into the benefits of a booming millet value chain. We’re even creating a brand for Kanthalloor Millets to make Kanthalloor’s fresh produce available to more people. We want to make sure these farmers can earn a steady income and keep growing in a sustainable way.

Launching Lenovo's Digital Center for Kanthalloor Millets

The Lenovo Digital Centre for Kanthalloor Millets has been set up at the IHRD College of Applied Science in Kanthalloor. It’s a hub of knowledge and resources for farmers, and we’ve got student volunteers and Lenovo volunteers working together to help the farmers out. The Center provides all kinds of important information about government programs related to millet, the best farming practices with smart technology solutions for millet farming. The center is fully equipped with devices from Lenovo’s portfolio such as ThinkPad, IdeaPad and Yoga laptops, Lenovo Yoga AIO 7 desktop PC, Motorola Edge phones, and tablets. The devices come with solutions and services like Lenovo’s CO2 Offset Service and cloud solutions.

At the Lenovo Digital Center, we’re collecting feedback from the farmers and we’re also helping to connect the farmers with markets and other key stakeholders in the local community. It’s all about bridging the digital divide and making sure the community has access to the tech tools they need for long-term success.

Harnessing the Power of ‘Gaon Chaupal’

As part of the Work For Humankind project, Lenovo leveraged the concept of “gaon chaupal” or community meetings to engage with farmers and the wider community. Through these interactive gatherings, Lenovo and its volunteers share information on millet cultivation best practices and demonstrate how smarter technology can be leveraged to improve agricultural methods. These chaupals also become platforms for brainstorming and coming up with sustainable marketing strategies. We provide support and promote local agri-preneurs, fostering growth and creating opportunities for the community. These sessions aren’t just boring meetings. They are super engaging, with lively performances, skits, and other activities to really get the community involved and excited. It’s such a great way to connect with people and have meaningful conversations.

Work For Humankind: Lenovo’s Smarter Technology Supports the Millet Revival

Watch the full story here.

Collaborating for Sustainable Impact

Lenovo’s campaign in Kanthalloor is built on a strong convergence model, we’ve brought together a bunch of experts and partners to make it happen. We are working closely with on-ground partner Dream India Network, the Gram Panchayat of Kanthalloor, local community partners and the IHRD College. Together, we run the Lenovo Digital Centre for Kanthalloor Millets, conducting in-depth analyses of the local millet food system. We’re developing a sustainable model that will benefit the farmers not only now but also in the future. We want to ensure that our initiative has a long-lasting impact and supports generations to come.

Plant Yourself Anywhere

Our team of Lenovo #LoveOn volunteers enjoy doing fieldwork in the pristine hills of Kanthalloor, Kerala, in more ways than one. Check out our Volunteer on his Lenovo X1 Thinkpad, working from the project site, surrounded by forests, hills and mountains.

Volunteers on-ground worked with local farmers to learn what goes into millet cultivation and demonstrated how technology can support the farming community. All whilst doing their regular jobs.

With smart technology, we can work from anywhere; surrounded by forests, in the mountains, and far away from business as usual. The Work For Humankind project enables Work from Anywhere for Lenovo employees where they get to volunteer and have an opportunity to give back to people and the community.

Unleashing the Potential for Growth

Kanthalloor is an agrarian economy with a population of over 1500 people who are engaged in farming. The soil in Kanthalloor is incredibly fertile and great for growing millets. In fact, each acre of land can support the growth of 10-12 quintals of millet. That’s a whole lot of delicious and nutritious grains. Amazing possibilities lie within Kanthalloor’s agricultural landscape. With such favorable conditions, millet farming can really thrive and contribute to the local economy. It’s a place where the land and the people come together to create something special.

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