In a move aimed at providing a global platform for millet products, the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) launched a variety of millet products for all age groups at affordable prices ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 15 at the AAHAR food fair, which is Asia’s biggest B2B international food and hospitality fair.
According to the press note, all the millet products launched by APEDA are gluten-free, 100% natural and patented. The launched products are cream biscuits, salt biscuits, milk biscuits, ragi peanut butter, jowar peanut butter, jowar upma, pongal, khichadi and millet malts (jowar, ragi, bajra).
APEDA also launched a variety of “Millet in Minutes” products under the category of Ready-to-Eat (RTE) such as Upma, Pongal, Khichadi, Noodles, Biryani, etc, which is a breakthrough in the food sector as it’s the first RTE millet product in the market to cater fast-paced world at their convenience in a healthy way.
All the RTE products are vacuum processed without any additives, fillers and preservatives. Nutrition value is retained as original with a shelf-life of 12 months in ambient temperature.
The APEDA is also working in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to increase cultivation area, production and productivity of millets, including bajra, jowar and ragi.
The 36th edition of AAHAR was jointly organized by APEDA and the India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) at Pragati Maidan from 26 to 30 April 2022.
In view of the nutritional value of the millets, the government has notified millets as nutri-cereals in April, 2018. The millets are a rich source of protein, fibre, minerals, iron, calcium and have a low glycemic index. In March, 2021, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared 2023 as International Year of Millets.
Because of initiatives of the government, production of millets increased from 14.52 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 17.96 million tonnes in 2020-21 and the production of bajra has also increased from 8.07 million tonnes to 10.86 million tonnes during the same period.
In line with the theme of APEDA’s pavilion, - ‘To promote GI products for export’, the apex body to promote agricultural products put on display 33 GI agricultural products at AAHAR. The APEDA also released two booklets which include a catalogue on Agri and Food GI products (APEDA scheduled) and a brochure on Indian GI mangoes.
The 33 GI products which were on display to attract the attention of over 100 buyers from 40 countries are Punjab’s Basmati Rice, Karnataka’s Gulbarga Tur Dal, Maharashtra’s Sangli Raisin, Kolhapur Jaggery, Ajara Ghansal Rice, Sindhudurg & Ratnagiri Kokum, Vengurla Cashew and Waigaon Turmeric; Assam’s Boka Chaul, Joha Rice, Karbi Anglong Ginger; Manipur’s Chak-Hao and Kachai Lemon, Mizoram’s Ginger and Chilli, Sikkim’s Large Cardamom, Nagaland’s Naga Mircha, Kerala’s Navara Rice, Pokkali Rice, Kaipad Rice, Palakkadan Matta Rice, Himachal Pradesh’s Kala Jeera, Chulli Oil, West Bengal’s Gobindabhog Rice, Tulaipanji Rice, Bardhaman Sitabhog, Bardhaman Mihidana, Banglar Rasogolla, Rajasthan’s Bikaneri Bhujia and Odisha’s Kandhamal Haladi.
AAHAR is a part of the series of export promotion initiatives taken by APEDA, which works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, to showcase agricultural and processed food products to the global players in the food and beverages industry as the fair is visited by a large number of importers from different parts of the world.
Apart from AAHAR, APEDA also organizes national events like Organic World Congress, BioFach India, etc to promote agri-exports.
Notably, more than 150 food and agri Products have been registered as GI by the GI Registry till March 2022, out of which 123 GI products fall under APEDA’s category.
Also, APEDA created dedicated stalls for exporters from North East Region (NER) and Himalayan states/UTs like Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, women entrepreneurs, Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), Start-Ups and exporters of millets and millets products. More than 40 participants participated under these categories and each category will have dedicated stalls in the APEDA pavilion.
“The visionary approach, aggressive and consistent efforts of APEDA have enabled India to position itself as a consistent and quality supplier of agri products,” said Dr M Angamuthu, chairman, APEDA.
APEDA has also taken several initiatives to promote geographical indications (GI) registered agricultural and processed food products in India by organizing virtual Buyer-Seller Meets on agricultural and food products with the major importing countries across the world.