Sales of millets, both domestic and international, have increased by nearly 30 per cent after the declaration of International Year of Millets 2023, said the Agricultural and Processed Exports Development Authority (APEDA), based on the feedback from exporters.

“Further, the awareness about the millets and its products, and visibility of millet products in the supermarkets have also increased. They have also informed that due to the consistent efforts by the government, the customers have also started demanding millet products, which was hitherto a hard sell to them,” APEDA said.

The exports of millet and millet-based products have been on the rise over the past couple of years. From around 1.29 lakh tonnes, valued at ₹434 crore in 2019-20, the shipments of millets and millet-based products have increased to over 1.59 lakh tonnes, valued at ₹480 crore in 2021-22.

The eight per cent increase in exports from ₹443 crore in 2020-21 to ₹480 crore in 2021-22 can be attributed to the announcement by the United Nations General Assembly at its 75th session in March 2021, declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets. India’s millet exports are seen rising further in the current financial year.

“The announcement of the International Year of Millets 2023 is widely regarded as a great booster to popularise Shree Anna products globally. Our exports are seen increasing close to $100 million this financial year and we will double our exports by 2024-25,” said APEDA Chairman M Angamuthu.

APEDA has identified 30 plus potential markets, a range of products, and possible sourcing points to boost the shipments. “We do have a list of exporters, buyers, FPOs, and start-ups to support this cause,” Angamuthu added.

Rise in production

India’s millet production has also increased in the past few years, supporting the growing demand. From around 10.25 million tonnes during 2019-20, millet production has increased to 13.21 million tonnes during 2020-21, APEDA said citing the FAO statistics.

“We have a wide range of production base from deep South to the Himalayan region. The product base is also wide and we have rich opportunities to factor in the days to come. We will integrate Indian millets as a part of global cuisine involving all stakeholders,” Angamuthu said.

Further, APEDA said players in the millet value chain such as Bhoosiri Millets Farmer Producer Company, Haveri, Gaurishankar Food Industries, Shiggaon, Rajamudi Organics Pvt Ltd, Urban Monk Pvt Ltd, Samruddhi Agro Group, Barvi Agro Farmer Producer Company among others are witnessing an increase in demand for their products from both domestic and overseas markets.