The Agricultural and Processed Food Products’ Export Development Authority (APEDA) will carry out a study on refining the value chain for millet for the export market and preparing a strategy for their shipments ahead of the Year of Millets in 2023 through the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), Hyderabad.
“APEDA is in the process of signing a memorandum of understanding with IIMR for chalking out a strategy to promote millets and their value-added products,” said APEDA Chairman M Angamuthu.
The authority has set up “Nutri-Cereals Export Promotion Forum” to give impetus to export of such products, including millets, and removing the bottlenecks in their supply chains.
APEDA has come up with various measures to promote exports and farming of millets as it sees increased interest in reviving their consumption. “Across nations, the interest is favouring growth prospects for millets,” he said.
One of the major reasons that APEDA has identified in promoting millets’ export is that the global market size is expected to expand 33 per cent to $12 billion (₹ 87,571 crore) by 2025 from $9 billion (₹65,678 crore), he said.
The Centre is taking initiatives to increase its market share in the global market as the country tops in global millet production, accounting for 38 per cent of the total output. Currently, India’s total millets production is 14 million tonnes (mt).
This has resulted in India exporting nearly 80,000 tonnes of millets during the April-February period of last fiscal valued at nearly $25 million (₹183.68 crore) compared with 71,200 tonnes worth $27.2 million (₹191.19 crore).
Among millets, bajra (pearl millet) products accounted for over 45,000 tonnes valued at ₹98.18 crore during the period compared with 38,930 tonnes worth ₹ 98.57 crore in the year-ago period.
Ragi (finger millet) saw an impressive jump in shipments to 18,682 tonnes (9,068 tonnes) with its value almost doubling to ₹ 43.19 crore (₹ 23.23 crore).
US far ahead
In the global export market, India ranks second with the US far ahead in terms of value realisation, according to official data. Between 2017 and 2019, US millets’ export value more than doubled to $58.67 million from $25.84 million, while Indian shipments value increased from $22.67 million to $28.49 million.
Angamuthu said a feature of Indian millets’ exports is that it has been increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent during the last three years.
The APEDA Chairman said that growing inclination of urban population towards healthy food in Asia-Pacific and increasing awareness of saving groundwater since millets grow in dry climate besides consuming minimum water were influencing demand in millets.
Use of millets in infant food and nutrition products is increasing, while demand for gluten-free food have all resulted in many manufacturers taking up making millet products.
In view of this, APEDA is involving exporters of millets in the virtual buyers-seller meets (BSMs) it is holding with importers and embassies, besides exporters and products associations. Millets exporters were also part of a virtual trade fair — India Rice and Agri Commodity Show — that APEDA held during the Covid pandemic.
Angamuthu said the authority was also holding senisitising programme for start-ups to make them familiar with export opportunities.