In a move to harness the export potential of millets to the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCCs), the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which 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 the 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 manufacturers 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 assist in the labeling of the products following the requirement of different importing countries.
As a part of its series of events for the promotion of the 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 from April-November 2022-23, and the UAE is the major importing country of Indian millets. The signing of the 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 the export of millets and its value-added products by 2025.
The MoU was signed between Tarun Bajaj, director APEDA, and Salim VI, chief operating officer, LuLu Group, in presence of M Angamuthu, APEDA chairman; Aman Puri, consul general, India and M.A. Yusuff Ali, chairman and managing director, Luu Group.
Speaking on the occasion, M Angamuthu, chairman, APEDA, said, “It’s a Mission and Vision of prime minister Narendra Modi to promote Millets in the international market. The APEDA team is ready to provide all required help to exporters, millet producers, and women FPOs, to promote Indian millets across the globe.”
Stressing on coordinating with buyers, sellers, and 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, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America by facilitating the 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 nine USD billion to over twelve USD 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) categories, such as noodles, pasta, breakfast cereals mix, biscuits, cookies, snacks, sweets, and much more.
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 tonnes during the same period last year.