21 January 2023, New Delhi: Millets & Organics 2023 – International Trade Fair kicks off in Thripuravasini, Bengaluru on Friday. The three-day event was divided into multiple segments including Exhibition, Pavilion, B2B networking, and much more.
The exhibition segment of the event was inaugurated by Mr. Basavaraj Bommai, Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka. Followed by the inaugural ceremony, Mr. Pralhad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal & Mines, inaugurated the Karnataka Pavilion. Union Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Mr. Kailash Choudhary also graced the event and inaugurated the B2B networking part.
The trade fair is a platform for farmers, farmer groups, domestic and international companies, and central and state institutions in the organic and millet sector to connect and explore opportunities in agriculture, horticulture, processing, machinery, and agri-technology. The Government of Karnataka has been a leader in the promotion of millets – The first Organics and Millets Fair was held in 2017, and the second and third editions in 2018 and 2019 in Bengaluru.
The inauguration of the international conference was done by Ms. Shobha Karandlaje, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare. In her address to the farmers and other participants, she called for the cultivation of quality millets with optimal use of pesticides that can be taken to the international platform which would help them in gaining competitive prices for their produce. The Government’s commitment to increasing farmers’ income can be seen through a significant rise, witnessed in agriculture exports.
Mr. Kailash Choudhary, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare in his address highlighted that the budget allocation towards farmers has increased 6 times. Additionally, he also said that the country is focused on developing 10,000 FPOs and aiding farmers in setting up sorting and grading units, along with the production of value-added products which are export ready. He emphasized that the consumption of millet is the solution to malnutrition, which will also benefit farmers to get a better livelihood and increased income.
Ms. Shubha Thakur, JS (Crops), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare appreciated the model of the Karnataka State Government in millets promotion. She said, “Karnataka has been distributing millet grains through the PDS system, organizing district-wise Kisan Mela. Further to that, farmers in Karnataka have helped boost food production, especially during the covid pandemic, by cultivating millets.” She also added that, in the coming year, National Food Security Mission (NFSM) program will be reconstituted to the National Food and Nutrition Security Mission, paving the way for millets to reach the global forum.
Some of the key highlights from the fair included more than 250 stalls, a millet and organic food court, buyer-seller meets, an international expo and conference, consumer connect, farmers workshop, cooking, drawing, and quiz competitions, and a demonstration of millet recipes, among others. The key products on display during the fair were millets, organics, natural range, certified wild harvest produce, millet processing machinery, organic cereals and pulses, bio-degradable packaging, eco-friendly products, etc.
The fair will be concluded on 22nd January 2023 with a speech by the Secretary to Government, Department of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka, followed by distribution of awards by Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and an address by him to attendees during the event. A cultural program has also been planned for the last day of the fair.
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