Medilytix Bureau:

With demand for nutria-cereals rising steadily globally, the Department of Commerce expects millets exports to increase exponentially in the coming years as Indian exporters find new markets abroad.

Currently, India is the fifth largest exporter of millets in the world, according to 2020 data, with exports continuously increasing at around 3% CAGR in the last five years ending with 2020.

In 2020-21, India exported millets worth USD 26.97 million against USD 28.5 million in 2019-20.

World export of Millet has increased from USD 380 million in 2019 to USD 402.7 million in 2020.

Major exporter of millets are USA, Russian Federation, Ukraine, India, China, Netherlands, France, Poland and Argentina. Together, their millets exports stood at USD 221.68 million in 2020. Global exports of millets in 2020 stood at USD 466.284 million.

The top three importers of millets from India in 2020-21 were Nepal (USD 6.09 million), UAE (USD 4.84 million) and Saudi Arabia (USD 3.84 million). The other seven destinations in the top-ten list of India’s millet export are Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, UK, Yemen, Oman and Algeria.

Altogether, these ten countries imported millets worth USD 22.03 million from India. Other countries accounted for millets imports worth of USD 5.13 million from India, taking the grand total of imports from India in 2020-21 to USD 27.43 million, according to DGCIS data.

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has been aggressively working towards facilitating shipments of millets by Indian exporters and helping them make inroads into new markets. Since organizing physical exhibitions and international trade fairs is not possible on account of the Covid-19 outbreak, APEDA has developed its own Virtual Trade Fair (VTF) application to facilitate interaction among exporters, producer organizations and international buyers.

In March 2021, APEDA organized its first Virtual Trade Fair – India Rice and Agro Commodity Show, which saw the participation of millet exporters also. A series of Virtual Buyer-Seller Meets (BSM) with Embassies, importers, exporters and product associations from India have been organized.

The top importers of millets along with their share in world import are Indonesia (8%), Belgium (7.36%), Germany (4.65), Mexico (4.1%), Italy (4.02%), United States of America (3.35%), United Kingdom (3.25%) Brazil (3.24%) and Netherlands (3.14%) in 2020. Top ten importers accounted for USD 221.7 million in 2020 out of the world import USD 466.3 million in same year.

India is the world leader in the production of millets with share of around 41% of total world production in 2020. India produces around 12 million MT of millets annually, according to Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare data.

The various kinds of millets include sorghum (Jowar), pearl millet (Bajra), finger millet (Ragi), little millet (Kutki), small millet (Samai), foxtail millet (Kangni), proso millet (Barri), barnyard millet (Jhangora), kodo millet (Kodra), two pseudo millets (buckwheat and kuttu), Ameranthus (Chulai) and other millets.

To give impetus to the export of potential products as well as to remove the bottlenecks in the supply chain of nutria-cereals, APEDA has created Nutri Cereals Export Promotion Forum which also included millets exports. It has also organized a sensitization programme for millet start-ups to familiarize them about export opportunities.

APEDA has signed an MOU with Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) for making a strategy for promotion of millets and millet value added products. It has initiated a study on ‘Refinement of Millet Value Chain for Export Markets: Preparation of export strategy in wake of International Year of Millets, 2023’ through IMMR.

In a major boost to production and exports of nutri-cereals like millet, Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, in her union budget (2022-23) speech, announced assistance for post-harvest value addition and branding of millet products in the domestic as well as global markets.

16 programmes are being planned by APEDA for promotion of Millets and Value Added Products of Millets in UAE, Indonesia, USA, Japan, UK, Germany, Australia, Republic of Korea, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. During the promotion programme, Buyer Seller Meets, Road Shows and participation in major international events will be organized to promote Millets and Value Added Products of Millets.

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