Indian government lays out action plan to promote millet export

New Delhi, November 13: India is making every effort to celebrate 2023 as the International Year of Millet as declared by the United Nations General Assembly.

To encourage the shipment of nutritional grains, the Indian Ministry of Trade and Industry, through its apex agricultural export promotion agency, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), has drawn up a comprehensive strategy to promote the export of Indian sorghum around the world December 2022.

For the export of Indian millet, the Government of India has planned to facilitate the participation of exporters, farmers and traders in 16 international trade exhibitions and buyer-seller meetings (BSMs).

Under the government’s robust strategy, Indian missions abroad would be involved in branding and promoting Indian millet, identifying international chefs, as well as potential buyers such as department stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets for arranging B2B meetings and direct connections.

In addition, ambassadors of foreign missions to India of target countries and potential importers would also be invited to introduce various millet-based products, including ready-to-eat millet products, and facilitate B2B meetings.

APEDA has planned to organize millet promotional activities in South Africa, Dubai, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Sydney, Belgium, Germany, UK and USA by encouraging the participation of various stakeholders from India in some of the important Food facilitates trade shows, buyer-seller meetings and road shows.

As part of promoting Indian millet, APEDA has planned to promote millet and its value-added product on various global platforms such as Gulfood2023, Foodex, Seoul Food & Hotel Show, Saudi Agro Food, Fine Food Show in Sydney (Australia), Belgium’s Food & Beverages Show, Germany’s BioFach and Anuga Food Fair, San Francisco’s Winter Fancy Food Show among others.

India is one of the world’s leading millet producers with an estimated share of around 41 percent of global production. According to FAO, the world production of millet in 2020 was 30.464 million tons (MMT) and India’s share was 12.49 MMT, accounting for 41 percent of the total millet production. India recorded a 27 percent growth in millet production in 2021-22, compared to a millet production of 15.92 MMT in the previous year.

India’s five main millet producing states are Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The export share of millet is almost 1 percent of the total millet production. Millet exports from India are mostly whole grains.

It is estimated that the millet market will grow from its current market value of more than USD 9 billion to over USD 12 billion by 2025.

In order to promote Indian millet and its value-added products, the Government of India has developed 30 e-catalogues on each of the target countries, providing information on various Indian millets and a range of their value-added products available for export, a list of active exporters, start-ups, FPOs and Importers/Retail Chains/Hypermarkets to be distributed to Indian Embassy Abroad, Importers, Exporters, Startups and Stakeholders.

Government of India is also mobilizing start-ups for export promotion of value-added products in Ready to Eat (RTE) and Ready to Serve (RTS) categories such as noodles, noodles, breakfast cereal mix, biscuits, biscuits, snacks, sweets among others.

Major international retail supermarkets such as Lulu Group, Carrefour, Al Jazira, Al Maya and Walmart would also be involved to set up a millet corner for millet branding and promotion.

The Government of India is also engaged in formulating a five-year strategic plan to promote millet and high-quality millet products in the international market in collaboration with ICAR-Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), Hyderabad, ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, CSIR -Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs).

India established the Nutri Cereals Export Promotion Forum to boost exports of potential products including millet and remove bottlenecks in the Nutri Cereals supply chain.

Millet has superior nutritional values ​​compared to much consumed grains like rice and wheat. Millet is rich in calcium, iron and fiber, which help boost essential nutrients for children’s healthy growth. The use of millet in infant formula and nutritional products is also increasing.