In the wake of the United Nations General Assembly declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is hosting Millets Mahotsav across 20 States and 30 Districts in the country with the aim of creating awareness about the nutritional benefits, value addition, consumption and export potential of Millets. The districts include Mandla (Madhya Pradesh), Vizianagaram (Andhra Pradesh), Bhojpur (Bihar), Mahbubnagar (Telangana), Dharmapuri (Tamil Nadu), Agra (Uttar Pradesh), Karbi Anglong (Assam), Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu), Dang (Gujarat) , Parvathipuram Manyam (Andhra Pradesh), Komaram Bheem (Telangana), Almora (Uttarakhand), Nuapada (Odisha), Bathinda (Punjab), Palakkad (Kerala), Davangere (Karnataka), Tapi (Gujarat), Barmar (Rajasthan), Kullu (Himachal Pradesh), Tumkur (Karnataka), Bhind (Madhya Pradesh), Nandurbar (Maharashtra), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Sukma (Chhattisgarh), Mahendragarh (Haryana), Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), Kalimpong (West Bengal), Khunti (Jharkhand) and Jamui (Bihar).
The series of events are being hosted under the PMFME Scheme of the Ministry under ‘Millets Mahotsav’ which commenced from Mandla, Madhya Pradesh on 21-22 January 2023 followed by the event in Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh on 22-23 January, 2023.
The event was inaugurated by Shri Kolagatla Veerabhadra Swamy, Hon’ble Deputy Speaker, Government of Andhra Pradesh in the presence of Shri Praveen Kumar Director, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Shri Majji Srinivasa Rao, ZP Chairman, Vizianagaram, Smt. Vempadapu Vijayalakshmi, Mayor, Vizianagaram Municipal Corporation, Shri. Bellana Chandra Sekhar, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Vizianagaram, Shri Indukuri Raghuraju, Hon’ble Member of Legislative Council and Government of Andhra Pradesh at Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh today. During his inaugural address, Shri Kolagatla Veerabhadra Swamy touched upon the importance of millets and the immense market potential for millet-based value-added products. He informed the stakeholders about the various initiatives undertaken by the Government of India to support the food processing sector and cited the role of the PMFME (Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme in empowering micro-food processing enterprises by providing financial, technical and business support across the value chain.
The two-day event was aimed at bringing all the stakeholders of the food processing sector with special focus on millets, on a common platform and encompassed a wide range of activities like exhibition and sale of various millet-based products, informative sessions on millet processing, interactive sessions between industry experts and micro food processing enterprises, SHGs, FPOs engaged in food processing, Buyer Seller Meet where the leading industry players participated and networked with the food processing Micro Entrepreneurs followed by a cultural program by indigenous groups, Book Launch showcasing 75 Millet recipes and cash prizes awarded to the millet recipe contest winners. The event witnessed an overwhelming response with around 1000 participants attending the two day event including micro food processing enterprises, self-help groups, farmer producer organizations, producer cooperatives, etc.
The exhibition focused on various Millet-based products such as flour, pasta, vermicelli, suji, ready-to-eat snacks along with showcasing processing machinery. The products were also open for sale, providing a great opportunity for the micro-entrepreneurs of Andhra Pradesh to not only participate in technical sessions but also generate revenue and forge partnerships for stronger market reach.
In addition to the Millets Mahotsav, a mega-food event is also being organized by the Ministry from 3rd to 5th Nov 2023 in New Delhi to provide a unique platform to all stakeholders i.e. producers, food processors, equipment manufacturers, logistics players, cold chain players, technology providers, academia, start-up & innovators, food retailers, etc. to interact and have a dialogue. The event is slated to be the biggest-ever congregation of dignitaries, global investors and business leaders of major global and domestic food companies which would put India firmly on the global food landscape.
Being grown in more than 130 countries, Millets are considered traditional food for more than half a billion people across Asia and Africa. Millets are important by the virtue of their mammoth potential to generate livelihoods, increase farmers’ income and ensure food & nutritional security all over the world. India is one of the leading producers of millets in the world with an estimated share of around 41 percent in global production. Recognizing the enormous potential of Millets, which also aligns with several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Government of India (GoI) has prioritized Millets. Spearheaded by the Honourable Prime Minister, the Government of India’s proposal for International Year of Millets (IYoM) 2023 was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The declaration has been instrumental for the Government of India to be at the forefront of celebrating IYoM.