The United Nations has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets and several events based on millets are taking place worldwide. The government’s agri-export promotion body, Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is planning to take an Indian delegation of exporters, start-ups, and Farmer-Producer Organisations (FPOs) to 17 major international events for the promotion of millets and its value-added products.
M Angamuthu, Chairman of Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) said-.“This is a good opportunity to boost our exports as India has very distinctive traditional varieties of millets which are loved by health-conscious people. However, a lot of promotion is required for increasing shipments of value-added millet products,”
Slim Export Share
Millets exports from India stood at US$59.75 million in 2020-21 and at US$64.28 million in 2021-22. With the share of value-added products being negligible. Though India is the top producer of millets, its export accounts for less than 15 percent in the global trade of $470 million in 2021.
APEDA has set a target to raise the export of millets and their value-added products to US$100 million by 2023-24 from US$64.28 million in 2021-22.
“India’s share in export of millets is at fifth position in the world now and we are confident to be among the top three countries in next two years.” “With the promotion of millets in the international events, more demand and awareness will be generated on Indian millets,” Angamuthu said.
APEDA plans to participate in 17 fairs- out of which 3 would be held in the US, 7 in Asia, and 5 in Africa and a fair each in both Australia and Africa starting October 15, 2022, at SIAL Food, Paris.
Indian embassies and high commissions in UAE, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UK, the US, Indonesia, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands have been asked by the government to make more efforts for the promotion of Indian millets since these countries are leading importers.
“Potential importers will be invited to India where we will showcase various millet-based products and facilitate B2B meetings. The first such meeting is likely to be held in the first week of December in Delhi,” Angamuthu said.
International Year of Millets
While speaking at the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s 105th annual general meeting (AGM), Sitharaman stated that 2023 will be recognized as the international year of millets. ”All over the world, millet is considered as gold for reasons of health and well-being. With India being the largest producer and the third largest exporter of grain, the focus should now be on value addition to make the grains ready to use,” said Sitharaman.
The Finance Minister asserted that in order for start-ups to access this market, business enablers like Chartered Accountants, tax advisors, and the Chamber of Commerce must identify ways in which these start-ups can function to benefit and bring in value additions in the millet processing area.
The export of millet with added value, as opposed to millet in its raw form, will result in higher pricing for farmers and wider market opportunities for the nation.