The Centre wants farmer producer organizations (FPOs) to play a key role in making India a millet hub of the world. Senior government officials and sector experts, at the Dubai Expo during India’s fortnight event on Food, Agriculture and Livelihood, discussed on opportunities for Indian industry players to enhance the country’s export potential.
Abhilakshi Likhi, the additional secretary in the agriculture ministry, urged startups and FPOs to help in upscaling millets’ value chain, connecting to domestic and international markets, and creating an inclusive framework to take producing communities along.
Shubha Thakur, the joint secretary in the agriculture ministry, highlighted the International Year of Millets. He said they are trying to build momentum for the millets campaign by focusing on its nutritional benefits and value chain. B Dayakar Rao, the CEO of Nutrihub, underlined that millets have health benefits and can reduce obesity and malnutrition. “It is well marked on vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals and it helps beat hypertension, colon cancer and cardiovascular diseases as it reduces triglycerides present in the body.” Rao said that with the onset of the International Year of Millets, India is ready to lead the world by sharing best practices, technologies and the goodness of millets, and established values and experience with other countries.
C Anandharamkrishnan, the director of National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), pointed out the need to formalize the unorganized food processing system by providing the FPOs, self-help groups and co-operatives with technical support, credit linkages and ensuring adequate storage capacity to avoid food wastage.