The Potential of Millets and Start Ups


                                         The demand for healthy food is increasing rapidly due to current lifestyle diseases. The best option for healthy and nutritious food that comes to my mind is the Millets. When we look deep into its nutritional content, it makes us astonished. Millets are gluten-free and have a low glycemic index so it is good for diabetic patients. Millets are called the Nutri-cereals and are superior to other grains in terms of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and micro-nutrients.

Recently, I visited a Reliance Store and could find millet products on the shelf. Retailers are dedicating separate aisle and shelf to display millet products which were not seen 10 years back. Putting millets on display is bringing more revenue and impacting their sales. People who know millets will be surely picked up and those who are new will pick up out of curiosity. Many companies have launched variants of millet products into their grain category.

24mantra organic food brand is available across India and abroad and has introduced millets as the ancient grains. In their basket, they have Sorghum, Pearl Millet, Ragi, Proso Millet, Barnyard Millet, Kodo Millet, Little Millet, and Foxtail Millet. Their presence is at the retail stores of their own, as well as in the supermarkets and also we can buy it online.

Eatrite is a brand built and marketed by IIMR, Hyderabad solely popularising millets as healthy food.
Nutrihub one of the largest technology incubator in India. Nutrihub incubation program is designed to help Nutri-cereals startups grow in a streamlined fashion by providing them the required technology and business support system. The startups of Nutrihub are as under:
The above entrepreneurs have developed many millet products in their basket and made them available in retail stores and as well as their presence online globally.

Last year, when I visited ICRISAT, Hyderabad could see many millet products worldwide from India, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA and Africa.

“Millets have multiple benefits as they contribute to food and nutrition security for millions of people in the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa, generate market opportunities for farmers, and are a critical solution to climate change.” Kofi A. Annan, Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation.

The Honourable Prime Minister of India highlighted the roles of millets in ensuring food security and nutrition, underlining their resilience to adverse climatic conditions, and their potential to ensure increased incomes or the resource-poor farmers.

So, there is a lot of potential for millets in food processing industry in India and also globally. It is the right time to think and step into millet startups in India.

Author: Tapas Chandra Roy, Assistant Agriculture Officer, Department of Agriculture and Farmers' Empowerment, (Govt. of Odisha)

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