International millets trade fair 2019 announced at a promo meet in Bengaluru

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International millets trade fair 2019 announced at a promo meet in Bengaluru The Organics and Millets International Trade Fair 2019, organised by the Karnataka’s Department of Agriculture, will be held from 18-20 January. At the curtain raiser in Bengaluru, NH Shivashankara Reddy, state minister for Agriculture said that the second edition of the trade fair will revolve around the theme of K-Source, celebrating the State as the source for next-gen smart foods. 

The three-day fair, primarily for farmers, buyers, sellers and exporters of organic produces and millets, will have about 250 exhibitors occupying an exhibition space of 10,000 square meters including stalls from other states, countries, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and farmer federations. 

“Through this event, we want to emphasise our positioning of Karnataka as the organics and millets capital of India. We will be conducting roadshows in Coimbatore, Pune and New Delhi to create awareness and encourage participation. We will be conducting key district-level melas across the State to attract visitors. Roadshows will be organised abroad to rope in foreign delegations, buyers, food processers, bloggers and journalists. We hope that more people turn to organics and millets as part of their daily food intake and take advantage of its health benefits,” Reddy said. 

Farmers have, apparently, been implementing innovative methods to pioneer the organics and millet agriculture movement. According to Reddy, organic agriculture sector in the State is gaining momentum with markets experiencing double digit growth year-on-year, while millets have emerged as the new nutri-cereal. 

Maheshwar Rao, principal secretary - Department of Agriculture, Karnataka, informed that the previous edition of the event saw a footfall of around 1 lakh visitors including farmers, students, scientists, businessmen and generated a business of around Rs 4.5 crore across counters during the fair. Business and potential orders generated was to the tune of Rs 107 crore with MoUs worth 13218 metric tonnes of organic and millet products signed at the event. Delegations from USA, Japan, South Korea, China, Germany and The Netherlands attended the event. 

The government of Karnataka is the first state to have an Organic Policy in 2004. To which Manoj Kumar Menon, executive director of International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA) added, “Since 2004, the area under organic cultivation registered a steady growth from 2500 hectares to one to one lakh hectares area under fully-certified organic cultivation as on date. As per APEDA, the state-wise export data in 2017-18 total value of organic products exported from Karnataka is about 186 crores. As per ICCOA’s estimate, total value of organic production from Karnataka would be approximately 8000 crores. Experts see a big potential to expand farmer’s revenue through proper market structure. This trade fair is organized to serve the same objective and make Karnataka an organic and millets hub.

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By BOA Bureau