Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday asked start-ups to explore and innovate millet processing to enhance the country’s export potential.

International year of millets

While speaking at the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s 105th annual general meeting (AGM), Sitharaman stated that 2023 will be recognised as the international year of millets. “The next year being the year of millets, Karnataka should also focus on building equipment related to millets and millet processing. All over the world, millet is considered as gold for reasons of health and well-being. With India being the largest producer and the third largest exporter of grain, the focus should now be on value addition to make the grains ready to use,” said Sitharaman.

The Finance Minister asserted that in order for start-ups to access this market, business enablers like Chartered Accountants, tax advisors, and the Chamber of Commerce must identify ways in which these start-ups can function to benefit and bring in value additions in the millet processing area.

The export of millet with added value, as opposed to millet in its raw form, will result in higher pricing for farmers and wider market opportunities for the nation. She said, “startups can look at packaging startups can look at speedier market discovery, price discovery, value addition, how to bring it about.”

The G20 submit

Next year, the G20 meeting will be hosted by India. The FM stated that the G20 meetings would take place outside of Delhi and there are several destinations in Karnataka, where the meetings will be held. “Karnataka must identify the items that can be branded and shown at the G20 meetings,” Sitharaman added.

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