Centre urges startups to upscale value chain for millets

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The Centre on Saturday urged all startups to upscale the value chain for millets by creating an inclusive framework for taking the producing communities along.

“We urge the startups and Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) to not only help in upscaling millets’ value chain, connecting to domestic and international markets, but also to create an inclusive framework where we take the producing communities along,” Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, said.

Likhi was speaking at a seminar titled ‘India: Millets production and up scaling value chain’ held as part of the ongoing ‘Food, Agriculture and Livelihood’ fortnight at the India Pavilion at EXPO2020 Dubai.

Senior government officials and sector experts deliberated on opportunities for Indian industry players producing and processing millets, to enhance the export potential of the country during the session, a release isued by the ministry said.

The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution sponsored by India and supported by over 70 nations declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets, aimed at raising awareness about the health benefits of the grain and its suitability for cultivation under changing climatic conditions.

Underlining the nutritional security aspect of millets, B. Dayakar Rao, CEO, Nutrihub, said: “Millets can reduce obesity and malnutrition. It is well-marked on vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals and it also helps beat hypertension, colon cancer and cardiovascular diseases as it reduces triglycerides present in the body.

“Now with the onset of the International Year of Millets, India is ready to lead the world by sharing best practices, technologies, the goodness of millets and established values and experience with other countries.”

Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Kuntal Sensarma, talked about the policy incentives in this sector, saying: “Two of our suggestions to the Union Ministry of Finance for this year’s Budget have been accepted to strengthen the sector and create necessary policy environment.

“One was in the context of the International Year of Millets for 2023 based on major programmatic interventions, and the other one on the PLI scheme and formalisation of micro-enterprises.”

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