Nabard arm sees Karnataka millet sector growing at 18-20% over next five years.

Nabard’s subsidiary Nabard Consultancy Services (NABCONS) has projected that Karnataka’s millet segment will grow by 18-20 percent annually over the next five years due to the state government’s awareness of the food and promotional initiatives. NABCONS, which conducted a study on the impact of international trade fairs (ITFs) on the growth of the millet sector in Karnataka from 2017 to 2023, pegged the state’s current millet market at ₹ 975 billion. “The ITFs have played an important role in establishing the market for millets in Karnataka. The annual growth of the millet sector is 18-20 per cent in the next five years,” said Sandeep Dharkar, DG, Nabard.

Realizing the importance of millets, Karnataka has taken a pioneering step to organize an international millet and organic fair in the state. The ITF started operations in 2017 and the country has successfully hosted four ITFs till 2023. The fifth ITF on millet and organic farming will be held in Bengaluru from 5-7. in January.

Millet Producer Groups

The NABCONS survey showed that the number of millet producer groups such as state federation, FPO, FPC and millet clusters increased from 167 in 2023 to 1619 in 2017 and increased the consumption of thousands in urban areas. Also, the number of millet processors and manufacturers in the state has increased to 423 in 2023 from 65 in 2017. As a result of various schemes supported by the Karnataka government, many processors and manufacturers have started promoting and popularizing millets, the study said. The number of exporters of millet products has also increased to 86 in 2023, compared to 15 before 2017. Exports of millets and millet-based products from Karnataka were ₹ 36 billion in 2022-23. The number of retail outlets, wholesalers and other distributors such as distributors, retailers and e-tailers will grow to over 894 across the state by 2023, with over 500 in Bengaluru alone serving high quality refined millets in modern packaging and value addition. products .

Another impact of the ITF was that FPOs / FPCs became big traders with price negotiation, quality, supply and long relationships that helped them earn 15 percent more revenue by avoiding middlemen, said Dharkar. Dharkar further revealed that based on information received from ITFs, the packaging of millet products has improved with a greater shift towards biodegradable packaging and smart and intelligent packaging that supports product quality and traceability.

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