Millet Export from India is creating opportunities for New Entrepreneurs

Millet Export from India:

The demand for millets is increasing, not only in the domestic market but also in the international markets. As we know the demand for healthy food has increased during the current pandemic in India and globally. We can say that COVID-19 has given opportunities to promote millets and millet-based products.

It has been reported that there is an increase of 11.6% growth in the export of millets, 79,459 metric tonnes against 71,203 MT in the same period last year. We can say, Millet Export from India is creating Opportunities.

Today, we will be talking about the Millets, their types grown in India, the Status of Millets in India, Major importing countries, Support of Organisation in millet export, Initiatives of APEDA, Basic Requirement for Millet Export, Major intervention required in Millet Export from India, Some points for Millet Entrepreneurs looking for export and finally some success stories.

Millets and Types of Millets grown in India:

Millets are known to be highly nutritious and healthy and have the ability to survive in high temperatures with minimal requirements of inputs and water. There are nine types of millets grown in India:

  • Finger Millet
  • Sorghum
  • Pearl Millet
  • Little Millet
  • Foxtail Millet
  • Barnyard Millet
  • Kodo Millet
  • Proso Millet
  • Browntop Millet.

If you are new to millets and want to know about the millet grains’ shape, size, and color, then give one glance at this video below.

Remember, we cannot export millets as fresh products rather need to be processed food before exporting to other countries.

Status of Millets in India:

As you know India ranks first in terms of the production of millets. As per data of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, India’s production is about 17.15 million metric tonnes that account for around 38% of the world production. India ranks 3rd in Millet Export in the world.

The major millets that are grown in India are Sorghum, Pearl Millet, and Finger Millet(Ragi).

Related Post: 10 Innovative Millet Business Plan

Major Importing Countries:

The major export destination of millets is Nepal, Saudi Arab, Pakistan, UAE, Tunisia, Sri Lanka, Yemen Republic, Libya, Namibia, and Morocco. According to the report of the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS), in the year 2019-20, 0.08 million MT of millets was exported from India which was valued at 205.2 crores (28.75 million dollars).

Support of Organisation in Millet Export from India:

There are much-esteemed organizations in India supporting millet export. In the recent submission of ”White Paper on Millets” to Nitiyoag by the Indian Institute of Millet Research(IIMR), Hyderabad, it is well mentioned about the interventions and the stakeholders’ role for millet export from India.

InterventionDescriptionExpected OutcomesStakeholders
Standards and GradesEstablishing the Standards and Grades for small millets, and also for the degree of polishing for transparent marketing-Consumer safety
-Increased processing units
HS CodesEstablishing HS Codes for small millets for exportingIncreased ExportsAPEDA
Export demand MappingIdentifying Export market trends and potential for various millet value-added productsClear positioning strategiesICAR-IIMR
Positioning StrategiesFraming the USPs for various product segments of domestic and international marketsBetter penetration of productsICAR-IIMR
Export Promotion ForumCreation of Millet Export Promotion Forum with all concerned stakeholders for integrated export promotion nationally-Strong sourcing linkages
-Increased export traders, start-ups
Millet Export from India – Regulatory Measures and Export Strategies. Source: White Paper on Millets

Initiatives of APEDA in millet export from India:

The main motto of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is the export promotion of Agri products from the country and has the vision to establish India as a consistent supplier of quality and price competitive products.

APEDA has come out with many promotional schemes for Export.

  1. Export Infrastructure development schemes
  2. Quality Development schemes
  3. Market Development Schemes

APEDA & ICAR-IIMR jointly organized a national seminar on ”Sensitization of Millet based FPO’s and Export Opportunities recently in which Smt. Vinita Sudhanshu, Deputy General Manager (Cereals and BEDF Division) delivered the Export opportunity in Millets.

APEDA will provide assistance in processing facilities for addressing the missing gap like increasing the shelf life of millets, enhancing the production, and advanced the packaging line. It will also support in-house quality testing, lab equipment, and testing of samples. said Smt. Vinita Sudhanshu.

Millet export from India
Support from APEDA in Millet Export from India

Basic Requirement for Millet Export from India:

  • Ability to export the quantity of product as required.
  • Consistent supply
  • Quality product
  • Price competative
  • Meet the standard and grades of millets as per the importing countries norms.

Advice to Entrepreneurs for Millet Export from India:

There is a huge export potential for the millet value-added products. So, entrepreneurs should keep this in mind before starting startups.

  • Develop innovative millet products.
  • Develop products as per consumers preference and taste.
  • Technology development for superior quality products with enhanced shelf life.
  • Focus on gluten free products as the trend of gluten is increasing in the western countries.

We can take the help of the Indian Institute of Millets Research, Hyderabad for developing value-added products from millets. This esteemed organization has supported many startups to develop innovative millet-based products.

Success Stories in Millet Export from India:

Recently organic Himalayan millets (Ragi and Barnyard Millet) have been exported from Uttarakhand to Denmark. In this journey, APEDA in collaboration with UKAPMB and Just Organik helped the millet farmers.

24Mantra: When we first started our venture in 2004, export was the only market available. However, as we looked more into the export business, we understood that in order to take advantage of the potential, you need to have extremely good systems and processing infrastructure.

So, despite the fact that it was a difficult start, we were able to establish some fundamental processes and infrastructure in a few years. Exports will not be a viable approach unless you first dominate the domestic market said, Dr.Rajashekar Reddy, Founder & MD, 24 Mantra.

Now, 24Mantra millet products are exported to international markets and have taken the space on the shelf of retail stores. The demand for organic millet products is increasing day by day.

Manna Foods: There is a range of millet products in the brand name Manna. It has not only doing well in the domestic market as well as in the international markets. The millet products are exported to countries like United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and many more.


There is a huge potential for millet products in the international market. We need to capture it by doing proper strategies at the grassroots level and by market intelligence.

Hope you got some insights on ”Millet Export from India” and if you have any queries related to millet export, do let me know and also if you have some innovative ideas regarding millet export, please write in the comment box below. I will be happy to hear from you.

Author: Tapas Chandra Roy, A Certified Farm Advisor on Millets, ‘Promoting Millets from Farm to Plate’. In a mission to take the forgotten grains- Millets to Millions. To remain updated on my blogs on millets you can join my Telegram Channel – Millet Advisor.

4 thoughts on “Millet Export from India is creating opportunities for New Entrepreneurs”

  1. I have red millets(korralu) 11 kintas.
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  2. I am manufacturer of Kharodya (pearl millet snacks) sun dried traditional healthy snack
    Want to export so plz help me

  3. I am manufacturer of Kharodya (pearl millet snacks) sun dried traditional healthy snack
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