In the wake of the United Nations General Assembly declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is hosting Millets Mahotsav across 20 States and 30 Districts in the country intending to create awareness about the nutritional benefits, value addition, consumption, and export potential of Millets. The districts include Mandla (Madhya Pradesh), Vizianagaram (Andhra Pradesh), Bhojpur (Bihar), Mahbubnagar (Telangana), Dharmapuri (Tamil Nadu), Agra (Uttar Pradesh), Karbi Anglong (Assam), Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu), Dang (Gujarat), Parvathipuram Manyam (Andhra Pradesh), Komaram Bheem (Telangana), Almora (Uttarakhand), Nuapada (Odisha), Bathinda (Punjab), Palakkad (Kerala), Davangere (Karnataka), Tapi (Gujarat), Barmar (Rajasthan), Kullu (Himachal Pradesh), Tumkur (Karnataka), Bhind (Madhya Pradesh), Nandurbar (Maharashtra), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Sukma (Chhattisgarh), Mahendragarh (Haryana), Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), Kalimpong (West Bengal), Khunti (Jharkhand) and Jamui (Bihar).
The series of events under Millets Mahotsav commenced from Mandla, Madhya Pradesh, on 21-22 January 2023. Mandla is the hub of production of the Kodo and Kutki Millet, which has also been identified as the One District One Product (ODOP) under the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme launched by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India.
During his inaugural address, Prahlad Singh Patel touched upon the importance of millet and the immense market potential for millet-based value-added products. He informed the stakeholders about the various initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries to support the food processing sector and cited the role of the PMFME Scheme in empowering micro-food processing enterprises by providing financial, technical, and business support across the value chain.
The two-day event was aimed at bringing all the stakeholders of the food processing sector with a special focus on millets, on a common platform and encompassed a wide range of activities like exhibition and sale of various millet-based products, informative sessions on millet processing, interactive sessions between industry experts and micro food processing enterprises, SHGs, FPOs engaged in food processing followed by an acultural program by indigenous tribal groups. The event witnessed an overwhelming response, with more than 1000 participants attending the event, including micro food processing enterprises, self-help groups, farmer-producer organizations, producer cooperatives, and much more.
The exhibition focused on various Millet-based products such as flour, pasta, vermicelli, suji, and ready-to-eat snacks, along with showcasing processing machinery. The products were also open for sale, providing an opportunity for the micro-entrepreneurs to participate in technical sessions, generate revenue, and forge partnerships for stronger market reach.
In addition to the MilletsMahotsav, a mega-food event is also being organized by the Ministry from 3rd to 5thNov 2023 in New Delhi to provide a unique platform to all stakeholders i.e. producers, food processors, equipment manufacturers, logistics players, cold chain players, technology providers, academia, start-up and innovators, food retailers, etc. to interact and have a dialogue. The event is slated to be the biggest-ever congregation of dignitaries, global investors, and business leaders of major global and domestic food companies, which would put India firmly on the global food landscape.
Being grown in more than 130 countries, Millet is considered traditional food for more than half a billion people across Asia and Africa. Millets are important because of their mammoth potential to generate livelihoods, increase farmers’ income and ensure food & nutritional security worldwide die is one of the leading producers of millet in the world, with an estimated share of around 41 percent in global production. Recognizing the enormous potential of Millets, which also aligns with several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Government of India (GoI) has prioritized Millets. Spearheaded by the Prime Minister, the Government of India’s proposal for the International Year of Millets (IYoM) 2023 was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The declaration has been instrumental for the Government of India to be at the forefront of celebrating IYoM.