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 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 Kolagatla Veerabhadra Swamy, AP Deputy Speaker, in the presence of Praveen Kumar Director, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Majji Srinivasa Rao, ZP Chairman, Vizianagaram, Smt. Vempadapu Vijayalakshmi, Mayor, Vizianagaram Municipal CorporationBellana Chandra Sekhar, MP, and Indukuri Raghuraju, MLC.
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.