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Seminar at Expo 2020 Dubai showcases India's export potential of millets, ways to upscale the value chain

ANI | Updated: Feb 20, 2022 01:00 IST


New Delhi [India], February 20 (ANI): As part of ongoing 'Food, Agriculture and Livelihood' fortnight, the India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai hosted a seminar - 'India: Millets production and upscaling value chain' on Friday.
Senior government officials and sector experts deliberated on opportunities for Indian industry players producing and processing millets to enhance the export potential of the country.
Speaking at the session, Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare urged the startups and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to help in upscaling millets' value chain and connecting to domestic and international markets.
The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution sponsored by India and supported by over 70 nations declaring 2023 as the 'International Year of Millets', aimed at raising awareness about the health benefits of the grain and its suitability for cultivation under changing climatic conditions.
Shubha Thakur, Joint Secretary (Crops and Oil Seeds), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said the government is trying to build momentum for the millets campaign by highlighting its nutritional benefits and value chain.

Underlining the nutritional security aspect of millets, B Dayakar Rao, CEO, Nutrihub, said they have health benefits and can reduce obesity and malnutrition.
"It is well marked on vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals and it also helps beat hypertension, colon cancer and cardiovascular diseases as it reduces triglycerides present in the body. Now with the onset of the International Year of millets, India is ready to lead the world by sharing best practices, technologies, the goodness of millets and established values and experience with other countries," Rao said, according to an official release on Saturday.
Kuntal Sensarma, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), talked about the policy incentives in this sector.
"Two of our suggestions to the Union Ministry of Finance for this year's budget have been accepted to strengthen the sector and create necessary policy environment. One was in the context of the International Year of Millets for 2023 based on major programmatic interventions and the other one on the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme and formalization of micro-enterprises."
Deliberating on upscaling the value chain of millets, C Anandharamkrishnan, Director, NIFTEM said there is a need to formalize the unorganized food processing system by providing the FPOs, SHGs and co-operatives with technical support, credit linkages and ensuring adequate storage capacity to avoid food wastage.
The release said multiple startups and FPOs are participating in the 'Food, Agriculture and Livelihood' fortnight and displaying their innovative agri-tech solutions and, sustainable and healthy millets-based products.
The 'Food, Agriculture and Livelihood' fortnight will conclude on March 2. (ANI)

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