In a move to harness export potential of millets to the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCCs), the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) that works under the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lulu Hypermarket LLC on February 21, 2023.
APEDA aims to promote millet products and value-added products around the world in association with Lulu Group, which is an international retail hypermarket chain that operates stores and shopping malls across Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, India and Far East.
As per the agreement, the Lulu Group will facilitate promotional activities for millet products and enable the country to display millets and its value added products, ready to eat products in international retail chains by sourcing it from Farmer Producer Organizations, Farmer Producer Companies, women entrepreneurs and startups.
APEDA will facilitate manufactures to send various samples of millet products to Lulu Hypermarkets, which will be showcased at its various stores. APEDA, in association with Lulu Group, will also provide assistance in labeling of the products in accordance with the requirement of different importing countries.
As a part of its series of events for the promotion of International Year of Millets (IYoM) 2023, APEDA is organizing export promotion activities for millets in 16 International Trade Fairs, including Gulfood 2023.
India has exported millets worth USD 46.05 million during April-November 2022-23 and the UAE being the major importing country of Indian millets. Signing of MoU will facilitate APEDA’s strategy to promote the export of millets and its value-added products in West Asian countries to achieve the overall set target of USD 100 million for export of millets and its value-added products by 2025.
The MoU was signed between Dr Tarun Bajaj, Director APEDA and Mr. Salim VI, the Chief Operating Officer of LuLu Group in presence of APEDA Chairman Dr M Angamuthu, Consul General of India Dr Aman Puri and Mr. M.A. Yusuff Ali, the Chairman & Managing Director of Luu Group.
Speaking on the occasion, APEDA Chairman M Angamuthu said, “It’s a Mission and Vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to promote Millets in the international market. The APEDA team is ready to provide all required help to exporters, millet producers, women FPOs, etc to promote Indian millets across the globe.”
Stressing on coordinating with buyers, sellers, producers, to take forward the export of millets and value added products of millets, Angamuthu said, “It’s a good opportunity to boost our exports as India has very distinctive traditional varieties of millets which are loved by health-conscious people. The export of millets will help in increasing the income of farmers.”
APEDA has also planned to organize millet promotional activities in South Africa, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Sydney, Germany, United Kingdom and United States of America by facilitating participation of different stakeholders from India in some of the significant food shows, Buyer Seller Meets and Road Shows.
As part of the promotion of Indian millets, APEDA has planned to showcase millets and its value added product at various global platforms such as 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, etc.
It is estimated that the millets market is set to grow from its current market value of more than USD 9 billion to over USD 12 billion by 2025.
The government is also mobilizing start-ups for export promotion of value-added products in the Ready to Eat (RTE) and Ready to Serve (RTS) category such as noodles, pasta, breakfast cereals mix, biscuits, cookies, snacks, sweets, etc.
As per the DGCIS data, India registered a growth of 8.02% in the export of millets in the financial year 2021-22 as the export of millets was 159,332.16 metric tonne against 147,501.08 metric tonne during the same period last year.