India on Friday invited proposals from startups and Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) at the ongoing Dubai Expo, where the country showcased its investment-friendly policies and growth opportunities in agriculture and allied sectors.
Inaugurating the ‘Food, Agriculture and livelihood’ fortnight at the India Pavilion in Dubai Expo, Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary in Union Agriculture Ministry, assured that the proposals from startups and FPOs would be considered for providing equity grants, management costs, and other available support measures.
“The primary purpose of our participation at the DubaiExpo2020 is to benefit the small and marginal farmers who need economies of scale, collectivisation, and more forums to come together, create synergies connected with markets both domestic and international,” Lekhi said in a statement.
An array of activities has been planned during the fortnight till March 2, under the key themes of millets, food processing, horticulture, dairy, fisheries, and organic farming and the vast investment opportunities these sectors offer.
Speaking on the occasion, Shubha Thakur, Joint Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, said “millets is an important area for us, and we would like to utilise this global platform to learn about the health and nutritional aspects of millets and bring back the glory of millets.” India produces all the nine commonly known millets and is the largest producer and second-largest exporter of millets globally.
The United Nations General Assembly recently adopted a resolution, sponsored by India and supported by more than 70 countries, declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets. During the launch of the ‘Millet’ theme as part of the fortnight event, the delegation led by Likhi unveiled the Millet Book comprising nutritious and delightful recipes made using millets.
The delegation also launched the first ‘Millet food festival’, during which the visitors will get to relish the healthy and nutritious delicacies prepared using millets. Agriculture and Allied Sector is the backbone of the Indian economy and accounts for about 19 per cent of the total exports. As per the second advance estimate, a record foodgrains production of 316.06 million tonnes is estimated for the 2021-22 crop year (July-June).